When we think about a friend, partner, or family member going missing, the first thing that crosses most of our thoughts are: how am I going to find this person? Who do I need to turn to? Who can I trust? For most people, police officers and detectives are people that cross our mind. We put our trust in the legal system to have our best interests at heart and to do what needs to be done to help with an emergency situation. Unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons for why the police may not be the only or best resource to turn to in the case of a missing person.
For one, police officers do the best they can with the resources that they are given. Time, money, and resources often constrain local police from being able to put all their energy into one case at a time. Police officers are pulled in a million different directions on a daily basis and time can be spread thin. For missing person cases that go on for weeks or months, the amount of time and resources must dwindle due to the heavy load of other cases. Understandably, the more time that passes in these types of cases, the harder it becomes. Time is everything, especially in cases of missing children and teenagers, who are more vulnerable to kidnappers. Cases can turn to cold cases and the investigations will turn into dusty boxes on a shelf.
It is estimated that about 800,000 people are reported missing and entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center every year. Even more disturbing is that between 85% and 90% of these missing persons are minors! What these statistics do not tell you is that the number of missing people per year is much higher. If fact, we do not even know the staggering amount of people that go missing because many may not be reported, are undocumented, do not have family members to report them missing, or involve a homeless person.
The stigma that is associated with people living on the streets, the mentally ill, ex-convicts, and addicts can lead many people to think that when these types of people go missing, it is not something concerning. People that are mentally ill or who are on drugs always run away right? Those who live on the streets probably just decided to go somewhere else and bad things just happen to ex-convicts right? Though this could be the case, we cannot characterize certain groups of people into those who “always go missing” or “will turn up again”. If you have a friend or family member who falls into one of these categories who is missing, trust your gut feeling, because they could be in danger.
Other issues with missing persons cases are that police only will investigate after a certain period of time goes by, in which they can be sure that the person is not just late or ran away, or there is some other explanation for why they may not be around. This is even more common in cases with adults or young adults. Police will sometimes wait days to start investigating after a report has been filed because they fear that resources will be wasted on a case of a person who was never missing. For young adults who do not live with family or are away at college, the police may be reluctant to search and believe that the person is in fact missing.
Unfortunately, missing teenagers is becoming an increasing problem in this country. With the rapid advancement in technology, teens now have more access to GPS, maps, cell service, social media chatting, online dating, fake I.D.s and more. With easier access to others and places, teenagers have many more resources for going out alone and being more independent. Teenagers have less ability than adults to foresee danger, make good decisions, and stay out of trouble. Though teenagers tend to have more freedom now than ever before, there is the same amount of danger, if not more lurking around every corner. Missing teenager cases often involve a lack of communication between teens and parents, teens getting into trouble with friends and missing curfew or sneaking out, running away with friends they met online, or kidnapping. Again, the police may be reluctant to start an investigation in these types of cases, often because of the assumption that teens run away from home or sneak out of the house.
Parents know their children better than anyone else. Parents get a gut feeling when something is not right, and when that feeling occurs, investigations into possible missing children and teenager cases should start as soon as possible. Private investigators are equipped with the resources to find clues and get answers quickly. Investigators will start investigations as soon as a parent gets even one chill down their spine or one uneasy feeling and will not stop looking until there are answers.
Missing person investigations can reach even the most bizarre or irregular cases including long lost family members, runaways who are mentally ill, fugitives, cold cases, and debtors who owe money. If a person is missing, and you feel that you need to find them for whatever reason, there are answers somewhere, and the only way to find them is to begin searching. Call Advanced Investigations today to speak with someone who can assist you with your missing persons case. Do not wait until it is too late.