What to Do if a Loved One Goes Missing

Each year, thousands of people go missing. Cases of people disappearing are highly serious and law enforcement agencies typically begin searches right away. Even if the one who disappeared is an adult, swift action is crucial for locating the person. If you notice that a loved one has disappeared, it can be emotionally daunting and confusing. Instead of giving into fear, it’s crucial to take action on the matter right away. Here’s what to do if a person you know disappears:

Alert the Authorities without Delay

When you notice that someone is missing, don’t wait to call the police. Do it right away. You can take several precautionary steps in advance to make sure that the person has actually disappeared. For example, call their phone, friends, workplace, and any other place the person is likely to be. If you have good cause to believe that someone has truly disappeared, alert the relevant authorities. Don’t think about waiting two or three days. The police may advise you to call back after 24 hours if the disappeared person is an adult. Even so, your duty is to report the case because each second matters when it comes to finding missing people.

Continue the Search Yourself

Once you have alerted the police, don’t give up on trying to get in touch with the disappeared person. You should start calling anyone who might even remotely be in contact with the disappeared person. In case of adults, most disappear for voluntary reasons. So you will be covering your bases by calling familiar people. You also have an advantage here over the police, because unlike the authorities, you know the person who disappeared. You will have more leads than the cops so don’t wait for the officers to do all the work.

Leave Messages on Social Media

In the past, people hung up signs to find people who disappeared. These days, this process is largely handled by social media. Don’t underestimate the power of Facebook or Twitter when it comes to locating disappeared persons. You should make a post alerting everyone to the circumstances. If someone has seen or heard anything, they should be able to contact you or the case officers working on the disappearance. Don’t forget to leave many messages as possible on the disappeared person’s social media accounts and phone. Keep all communications avenues open in case the disappearance was voluntary.

Get in Touch with Local Nonprofits

You can also seek help from local nonprofits that deal with disappearances. This will be most helpful when the disappeared individual is an adult. Nonprofits have access to resources that you may not get if you were alone. Use these resources to spread the word about the disappearance and aid in the police search.

Taking it a step deeper, finding missing people can be done by retracing their recent business transactions for clues to possible associates.  For example if they business dealings in international trade in Sydney Australia, then you could contact customs brokers in Sydney who could investigate their import/export transactions to ascertain what types of products they’ve been importing or exporting.  You may even find some information by checking with the customs broker to see if they were members of any customs and/or broker related associations that could shed further light on their potential business partners that you wouldn’t otherwise know even existed. You may find that you discover a great deal more than you anticipated by analysing their business relationships as many have quite extensive connections with others who you may have never even considered.

Call Local Hospitals or Trauma Centres

Do call up local hospitals or other emergency care providers with a description of the person that has disappeared. It’s not impossible that the loved one got into an accident or ended up in a hospital without being able to communicate their whereabouts.

Above all, don’t panic. The case will proceed with the authorities. And once you have done above, you would have done everything in your individual capacity to locate the disappeared person.

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