Missing Persons

First, we acknowledge the difficulties that have brought you here. We take missing persons work very seriously—here is how we can help.

600,000

Individuals go missing every year

 

4,400

Unidentified bodies are recovered each year

Between 2007 and 2020, an average of 664,776 missing persons records annually were entered into the National Crime Information Center. See https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ncic

Fortunately, many missing children and adults are quickly found, alive and well. However, tens of thousands of individuals remain missing for more than one year – what many agencies consider “cold cases”.

Namus offers Free-of-charge forensic services including odontology, fingerprint examination, anthropology, and DNA analyses, and many other services.

What to Do First if Your Loved One is Missing

1. Determine if they are missing. Call the person’s family, friends, significant others, employment, area hospitals, jails, neighbors, classmates, and anyone who has regular contact with them. Keep a log of people you have spoken to, what was said, and the date/time. Check their social media updates, track their phone for location, Calling the coroner may provide information at this stage as well. 

2. Contact local police to file a missing person report.
Write down your case number and the name of the person in charge of the case. Have the following information ready when you go to the police station to file the report:
  • Three or more recent photos of the person

  • A list of nicknames or aliases used by the person

  • A physical description, including height, weight, age, hair color, eye color, build, etc.

  • A description of the clothing and shoes the person was last seen wearing

  • A list of possessions the person might be carrying, such as jewelry, glasses, contact lenses, accessories, a purse, a wallet, ID cards, etc.

  • A list of scars, tattoos, and/or any other identifying characteristics

  • A list of medications the person takes, plus allergies, handicaps, and other medical conditions

  • A list of relatives or friends of the missing person, and their contact information

  • A list of places the person frequents

  • A description of the person’s car or transportation (a bicycle, motorcycle, etc.)

  • A description of the situation surrounding the person’s disappearance

 
 
3.  Contact the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) (operated by the US Department of Justice). Upload information about a missing person for use by law enforcement officials, agencies, and individuals.

Caveats:
If the missing person is a minor, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children [1-800-THE-LOST (which is 1-800-843-5678)] or the Polly Klass Foundation. You can also use the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) as a resource. Law Enforcement may issue an AMBER alert.
 
If the missing person is mentally ill, the National Alliance on Mental Illness provides resources for families of people with mental illness who have gone missing.
 
If the missing person is age 60 or over, Law Enforcement may issue a SILVER alert.

There are limits to what law enforcement can do with a missing adult
—as it’s not illegal for adults to go missing.

Next Steps

  1. Put up fliers with the missing person’s photo and name. Include a contact number and email for people to share information. Put the fliers in prominent locations that have high visibility.
  2. Alert the local media: TV, radio, and newspaper. 
  3. If you have access to the missing person’s phone records — see who they have called and texted with last. What was said?
  4. If you have access to the missing person’s banking or credit card info —see where they have spent last. Are they close to home or far away? Was this a common purchase for them, or was it outside of their normal spending area?
  5. Consider hiring a Private Investigator. 

Organizing a Search Party

  1. Determine best practices in your area.  

  2. Call the local law enforcement and make sure there is not an active search being conducted there at the same time—you don’t want to interfere with their process, or their canine unit.

  3. Get a map of the area, divide it into a grid. Assign volunteers to different sections of the grid.

  4. Record the names and contact info of all volunteers, and the locations where they are searching.
  5. Make sure volunteers know not to tamper with anything that could be evidence, to take good photos, and good notes.
  6. Do not go on private property without obtaining permission from the owner.
  7. Make sure all volunteers searching are mentally prepared, alert, and safe.

Criteria to work with Wise Skies:

1. Please involve law enforcement as your first measure (see above).
2. We only work directly with a family member of the missing person. 
3. The sooner we can get started, the better. 

How We Work:

We will do an initial assessment session for the family member of the missing person over zoom.  
This session will provide insight and clarity on the situation. Together, we will determine if:
– the case needs to stay with Wise Skies, and our forensics team
– the case needs to be referred to a Private Investigator
– or if we have closure and no further action is needed
 
In the initial session, we will need:
– the missing person’s last known location (place, coordinates, city, state, etc.)
– the date they were last seen
– 3-5 pictures of the missing person 
– truly, nothing else – please do not email extra information
– the initial session lasts 30-45 minutes and is free
– if you want to move forward with ongoing support, our fee is $1500/month and includes the support of a forensic mediumship team, plus one, 1-hour zoom per week
– you will have one point of contact leading the case
 
Ready to get started?
– email [email protected]
 

Never give up hope. 

Resources 

Namus

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a national information clearinghouse and resource center for missing, unidentified, and unclaimed person cases across the United States.