Are you worried about a missing loved one? Just trying to track someone down? There are actionable steps you can take to find a missing person or person of interest. Before you call the police or hire a private investigator, we recommend that you try a few things first.
· Call friends and family members
· Check the places they frequently hang out
· Look at their social media accounts for recent activity
· Call hospitals, shelters, and jails
If you try all the above and can’t find the person you’re looking for, your next step is to file a missing person’s report—assuming the person is missing and not just someone you’re trying to find. Unfortunately, every year more than 600,000 Americans go missing, and as of 2019, 87,438 are still missing. The reality is that if the police can’t find a missing person within the first 72 hours, they probably won’t find them at all. Your best bet is to hire a private investigator after giving the police those 72 hours.
How a Private Investigator Can Find a Missing Person
Unlike the police, a private investigator does not have a massive caseload that prevents them from giving your case the attention it deserves. Private investigators use a wealth of tools to locate missing persons or persons of interest, including:
Checking Their Phone Location
Every cell phone has a SIM card that can be tracked via cell phone towers, or, in cases, location tracking may even be enabled on the phone. A private investigator can quickly access this information from the missing person’s cell phone carrier to see where their phone is—or was most recently—as well as whether it is actively in use.
Accessing License Plate Scanner Data
While many Americans are unaware their vehicles are being scanned, license plate scanners are very common in the US. A private investigator can access proprietary sources that allow them to search the data from these scanners and locate a missing person’s car. While they may not be with the vehicle, it can provide vital clues to their whereabouts.
Searching Private Databases
Private investigators specialize in finding people, so its no surprise that they have access to databases the public doesn’t, including everything from court records to credit reports. They can quickly scan a wide variety of sources for any mention of a missing person.
Conducting Comprehensive Interviews
People lie. There’s no arguing that point. Private investigators are skilled at reading between the lines and getting information from people that others can’t. They’ll interview friends, family, employers, and anyone else necessary to piece together what happened to the person you’re trying to find.
Unlocking Social Media
Some people post on social media to a limited audience. Many private investigators can access these posts and are skilled at connecting the social dots to find people who may have recently interacted with the person of interest.
Any Means Necessary
The methods the private investigator you hire utilizes will vary based on their resources and the details of your case—but one thing is certain—a private investigator is the best chance you have of finding a missing person or person of interest.