The storyline in movies about missing person cases is usually fun and intriguing to watch. In reality, however, the uncertainties can be overwhelming, especially for the victim and people affected by proxy. As much as the producers of these movies try to grasp the whole picture of a missing person’s case, certain details are either omitted or altered. And sometimes these changes are made intentionally to keep the plot interesting. So, when faced with a situation like this, knowledge gotten from TV isn’t the most reliable. That is why it is crucial to get help from detectives who have a lot of experience in this area and use various techniques to find missing person.
Knowing what to do and when to do what in a situation like this is key to avoiding casualties on a large scale. Here are five facts that you need to know when filing for a missing person case.
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1.No waiting periods
The concept of the 24-48 hours waiting period only exists in movies. In reality, you are allowed to file for a missing person case as soon as you make the conclusion that the person is unusually unavailable or irresponsive.
As soon as you notice that a person is missing, you can go to the police station and file a report immediately. The police will begin to make preparations once they see that you have concerns for the welfare of that person, especially in cases where their whereabouts are unknown, and they’re not accessible. By doing so, you can get the authorities to spring into action immediately and cover as much ground.
2.Make provisions for the necessary info
The police will be working with you to locate a person they’ve probably never seen or met before. All they have is the information you give them. So, when filing a report, be the most descriptive you’ve ever been.
Give the police a clear image of your loved one: a photo that shows that person from their head to shoulders. Other descriptions should also be provided, like their height, eye color, hair color, piercings, tattoos, birthmarks, and clothes worn before the incident. Anything that makes them easily identifiable.
3.Leave out no details
Certain details grab the attention of the police and speed up their search process. In cases where the victim is more vulnerable to harm, they act quickly, as they are tagged as high-risk cases. This is common in cases where the victim is a young child, a person with a medical condition, or a person living with a disability. More time spent alone or with the wrong people means increasing danger.
Also, people who have been caught up in a deal-gone-wrong or some scandal get prioritized too. Providing all the details they need will help them know the best possible ways to approach the case, so, spare no details.
4.You can report a missing person case at any station
If you have major concerns for the welfare and whereabouts of a person, you can report the case to the station closest to you. Regardless of their location at the time of the presumed incident, you can file a missing person case at your local police station. If for any reason, the investigation needs to be done in a different territory, the case will be transferred to the police jurisdiction closest to their last known location.
5.What’s next after they’re found
If the missing person is found, the police ensure they’re safe and interrogate them (conduct a prevention interview) to confirm that they’re not a victim of crime and will remain safe henceforth. Once the prevention interview is complete, the relevant information is used to fill in various reports required to close the case.
However, if the missing person returns home by themselves, you should contact the police to call off the search. Afterward, the police will interrogate the victim to understand the reasons why they were away and what happened while they were away. This information will help them know where to search in case of future occurrences and know what support the victim needs to stay safe.
If the missing person is an adult, details on their whereabouts are kept private unless they grant them permission to disclose such information.
Be sure to stay in touch with the police every step of the way during a missing person crisis. If anything changes during the course of their search, could be new information or previously excluded one, don’t hesitate to inform them. It makes it easier for them to help find your loved one.