How Do Private Investigators Find Missing Persons?
Everything You Need To Know About Finding A Missing Person
According to statistics from the National Missing & Unidentified Persons System (NamUS), approximately 600,000 people in the United States go missing every single year. The good news is that roughly 88-93% of these missing people are found. The bad news is that not all of these people are found alive. The reality is missing children and juveniles make up the majority of those lost loved ones, but law enforcement has limitations imposed on them when it comes to acting quickly in these types of cases. With the amount of time from when a person is lost to when they are reported being missing being the number one factor in a safe recovery, the best thing you can do is hire a missing persons investigator if you are worried about a friend, family member, or loved one. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about investigator resources and how to have the most successful missing person search.
Top 5 Ways Private Detectives Locate A Missing Person
- Surveillance- Local private investigators can observe a crime scene, check places a missing person might frequent, and observe a potential suspect’s movement by secretly tracking their vehicle.
- Hospital & Mortuary Search- Sadly, many missing children and loved ones are injured or killed. PIs are familiar with local areas with these environments and when people go missing they should be some of the first places to check.
- Law Enforcement Networking- Many private detectives have law enforcement backgrounds and therefore have close law enforcement connections. When it comes to a missing persons’ disappearance, having quality networks of insiders and those involved with local crime scene investigations can be a true asset.
- Investigative Tools & Techniques- A legal investigator has a number of tools and techniques that include the ability to question witnesses about a lost relative or utilize computer forensic technologies to do a deep dive into online dating profiles, social media accounts, and email addresses.
- Background Checks- Having quick and easy access to search public records and other online databases gives a PI critical information that can help them potentially locate a missing child, juvenile, or adult.
Related Blog Posts: How Private Investigators Track People
Types Of Missing Person Private Investigator Will Find
We can’t emphasize enough that time is the most important and critical factor when it comes to safely recovering a missing person. The longer the amount of time the search begins the more likely it is that the missing person won’t be found. Therefore, if your gut feeling is something is wrong you can’t wait 24-48 hours for the police department to file a missing person report, especially in a larger more densely populated area such as Los Angeles or New York City. The reality is police can only start looking for an individual after a certain amount of time has passed, and they will declare a case closed once too much time has passed. This is so police resources aren’t over-used. Hiring a professional private investigator will allow you to begin the search the moment you are notified of a person’s disappearance and the investigation can continue for as long as you need it to without resources being allocated elsewhere. Here are the types of missing persons a private investigation agency can help you locate:
- Missing loved ones or family loved ones who may have gotten lost.
- Disgruntled teens have run away from home.
- Juveniles that may have been kidnapped.
- Fugitives or criminals who may have fled with your personal valuables or assets (business investigations)
- Any missing persons that are still unaccounted for but whose cases are essentially closed by police.
Missing Persons Statistics
According to online resource Vivint, the state that had the most total missing person reports in 2019 was California with approximately 2,135 individuals. However, the most missing persons reports per capita was the state of Alaska with 42 missing people per 100,000 residents. In total, according to Statista, 609,275 people were reported missing in 2019 in the United States.
How Much Does It Cost For A Private Investigator To Find Someone?
The more affordable PIs typically charge $25 per hour for a minimum of 40 hours of investigative work or roughly $1,000. However, if you want a quality private investigator that specializes in finding missing people you can expect to invest $150 per hour with a minimum of 40 hours of investigative work or roughly $6,000.
Matthew is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.