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Locating a Missing Person – How a Private Investigator Can Help

Like many people, you’ve maybe done some online research on an ex-partner. Perhaps you found that they’re a successful artist who is now living in Mexico with their beautiful spouse and two perfect children. If you couldn’t find them, it’s probably for the best: who needs sun and sand when you’ve got four seasons’ worth of fun?

Sometimes, the need to find someone is more urgent than looking in on an old flame. What do you do when you need to locate them, and you’ve exhausted all your leads?

Why Do People Go Missing?

There are three main reasons people might be difficult to find:
They’ve been taken against their will, as in a kidnapping or being kept away from their loved ones, as in a domestic abuse situation. These cases are usually best handled by the police, but there may be exceptions.

They’re having problems at home or in their personal life that make them want to disappear. These people may ultimately want to be found; they may not even know someone is looking for them.

They’ve run into trouble with the law or with a creditor. These people will work harder to stay hidden. This category includes everything from fraudsters to employees who have embezzled funds, contractors who cash the final payment for a job without completing the work, and parents who owe child support.

They don’t have much of a digital footprint and don’t know someone is trying to find them. This might be the case with a long-lost relative, the biological parent of an adopted child, or the beneficiary of a will.

Finding a Missing Person

If you’re looking for someone who’s gone missing, you’ve probably tried all the standard means: Google searches, contacting mutual acquaintances, and checking the places the person used to frequent. Private Investigators can help by mobilizing their resources, skills, experience, and “tricks of the trade.” Let’s take a deeper dive into how they go about finding a missing person.

Searching Databases: There are numerous online databases, some public and some proprietary, that a Private Investigator can use to search for things like phone numbers, name change applications, property sales and purchases, previous addresses, criminal records, credit reports, and more.

Physical Surveillance: You may not be able to wait all night for the missing person to turn up at their favourite hangout, but a Private Investigator can. They can also follow people the missing person associates with and keep an eye on children or other relatives that the person may try to contact. While conducting this surveillance, a Private Investigator can capture high-definition video and photographic evidence of where the person was, when they were there, and who they were with.

Monitoring Social Media: The missing person may have social media or email accounts you’re unaware of. By examining the person’s network (i.e., acquaintances’ accounts, accounts for places and things the person might be following), a Private Investigator can often find online pseudonyms and hidden accounts that provide clues to the person’s location.

Connecting the Dots: Finding someone from the breadcrumbs they leave along the path is sometimes a straightforward task. More often, it involves cross-referencing information that most people don’t even know is accessible. This is where knowledge and experience have the most impact: a good Private Investigator can use basic information about the missing person and build that out into a more comprehensive picture of where the person has been and what they’ve been doing.

The Bottom Line

Each missing person’s case is unique. The best approach to finding them is a tailored one that takes into account all the factors that affect the disappearance: the age of the missing person, their financial resources, the reason they went missing, the reason you’re trying to find them, and the existing trail of evidence about their whereabouts.

Private Investigators have the skill and experience to quickly identify the best resources and put them to use immediately. They will proceed through the investigation systematically, pulling in sources of information, contacts, and investigative methods as needed. If you don’t know why the person went missing, they will probably be able to drill down to the root of the problem more easily than you: they’ve seen similar cases in the past and will recognize the signs.

About Star Quality Private Investigations

Star Quality Private Investigations is ready to help you immediately if you’re looking for a missing person. We understand the urgency of the situation, and with over two decades in the business, we have the experience, skills, resources and equipment needed to get you answers as quickly as possible. Contact us now to discuss your case and how we can help you find your missing person. We will leave no stone unturned.

Locating a Missing Person