Missing persons cases offer unique challenges. Typically, the victim of a crime is the person who calls the police and reports the incident. For example, if you were robbed at gunpoint, you would most likely call the police and report the crime. And as with most incidents, it’s necessary for the police to interview the victim first hand to ensure authenticity of the report.

But that’s not what happens with missing person cases (including kidnapping and abduction cases.) The individual who reports the person as missing is considered the complainant—normally someone who has some type of familial connection to the missing person, such as a husband, wife, mother, father, etc. What makes this unique is that since the complainant files the report on behalf of the missing person, the police are assigned the straightforward task of locating the missing person to verify whether he or she is somehow unable or unwilling to come forward. That doesn’t mean it’s a simple task, though. Any one of several scenarios could be the reason for an individual labeled as missing—the victim of a crime, the subject of an unfortunate incident, or simply avoiding contact for some reason.

During the initial reporting process, police conduct a preliminary investigation and attempt to track down the whereabouts of the missing person. By contacting family, known associates, school employees, fellow classmates or workmates, hospitals, and/or local hangouts etc., the officer can make an initial assessment of the circumstances surrounding the missing individual and hopefully close the case.

When investigating a critical missing person (those involving children, at-risk adults, or when some type of foul play is suspected), law enforcement can utilize additional resources, such as pinging cellphones to determine location, reviewing city surveillance cameras, organizing search parties, and relaying vital information to news media outlets to help inform the public.

Hopefully the missing person is located during the initial investigation, but if all preliminary leads have been exhausted, the case will usually be assigned to a detective for further follow up.

As such, locating a missing person can have one of two potential investigative outcomes:

  1. The individual is located, either living or deceased, and the case is closed or reclassified as another crime or incident, such as kidnapping, having been involved in a traffic accident or some other type of accident (possibly in the hospital), or the victim of homicide or suicide if a death is involved; or
  2. The individual is not located and the case remains open. As with any investigation, at some point after all information is gathered and all leads are followed up without closure, the case is placed into a “cold” status. At that point, the case remains open until additional information or leads are developed. What makes this scenario particularly difficult in a missing persons case is that quite often so many questions remain unanswered, making it extremely difficult if not impossible for loved ones to have a sense of finality.

There is hope, however. Private investigations can help with missing persons cases in to bring closure. Forletta Investigative/Security Consultant, LLC provides missing person follow up investigations in the Pittsburg and Cleveland areas. They understand that missing person cases are some of the most delicate and sensitive cases that a PI can investigate, and treat each case as such. Forletta’s team of professional investigators utilize all resources, such as Bring Our Missing Home, and can assist with reviewing statements, providing surveillance, fingerprint comparisons, DNA analysis, and virtually anything else the case deserves.

If you need help with locating a missing person, call us today:  http://www.fcisllc.com/contact-us/