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Missing Persons Investigations

Missing Persons Investigations with Investigators Australia

Contrary to popular belief, not every missing person case is a criminal matter. When it comes to finding a missing person, each case is different. You may have recently lost contact with a person, or simply trying to find a long lost relative. In some cases, you may have extensive details to help in your search, or only a name and phone number. The person you are looking for may even be in an entirely different country. Whatever the case may be, no one can stay lost forever. That’s where Investigators Australia steps in.

Investigators Australia has been serving our clients in missing person cases for over five years. We use all the latest technology as well as highly trained and skilled investigators to help find the person you are looking for. We have been providing outstanding service that exceeds all the expectations of our clients by delivering high-quality investigation services at an affordable rate. We listen to the needs of our clients and perform investigations with the highest level of discretion and integrity. Our mission is simple; be the best private investigators that we can be to all our potential clients.

How do Investigators Locate a Missing Person?

Investigators find many missing people by conducting detailed searches on social media networks and other online databases. Our investigators will conduct interviews, use various surveillance methods, as well as other methods to find any information that can lead to finding the person you’re looking for. Investigating the whereabouts in a missing persons case requires many skills such as creative thinking, process of elimination, tracking, and the ability to ask questions during an interview with the utmost discretion.

Technology has drastically changed the way we find a missing person. Daily, people leave a digital footprint. How many times do you use Alexa, Facebook, Siri, or Cortana a day? Every time you act on your phone or device, you are leaving a digital footprint. Those digital footprints are an essential element to an investigator process for finding an individual. Some other ways that technology helps an investigator locate a person include:

  • Search mapping, radar, and in some cases the use of sonar technology. Law enforcement uses search mapping, radar, and sonar tools to outsmart criminals. Investigators use it in reverse to locate individuals. Search mapping generates patterns of all the digital footprints a person has left in the Internet world no matter what device they use. Search mapping cuts down the amount of time an investigator needs to figure out how to find a missing person. Everyone has their plan and procedures, but search mapping identifies how a person thinks faster than an investigator could without this technology. Understanding a person’s thought process greatly helps an investigator to narrow things down making it easier to find them faster.
  • Social networking sites such as Facebook, is how many people leave clues about not only their whereabouts but what led to them going missing. In some cases, the missing person may not use their profile but may log into someone else’s they’re close too.
  • Surveillance can be carried out with an investigator using a body cam during an interview, or simply pulling photographic or video evidence from various locations.

When a person goes missing, people automatically assume there is criminal activity behind it. While this may be true especially in instances of kidnapping, some people go missing simply because they don’t want to be found. Technology has made it possible to locate a missing person faster than we would have 50 years ago.

Why a Person Goes Missing

There are many reasons why someone can go missing, including miscommunication, misadventure, being the victim of a crime, being the criminal, and even mental illness. Well there are many risks attached to someone being missing, the risk varies depending on the specific population group as well as the location in which a person was last seen. Adults are more likely to be listed as missing long term. However, children are most likely to be reported missing at a rate that is six times higher than adults. The reason a person goes missing depends on multiple factors.

Missing Children

Children go missing for many reasons which include family conflict, the desire to become independent, forgetting to tell someone where they’re going, mental health problems, drug or alcohol abuse, being the victim of a crime, or neglect. A very small percentage of missing person cases in Australia are from stranger abductions. Most children and teens who go missing only disappear for a short period of time and are often located quickly.

Missing Persons with Mental Health Issues

The link between mental health and a missing person is often used to locate someone. People experiencing mental health issues have several triggers that could result in them going missing. Some of these triggers include:

  • frustration with health care professionals or issues with medication
  • contradicting ideas with loved ones about how to handle a mental health issue
  • uncertain about who or how to get help for the mental illness
  • alternatively, they feel that going missing is the only solution

Some people go missing for a short time, some will go missing time and time again, while others will disappear for a long period, falling victim to crime. Someone you know may be suffering from a mental health issue which could put them at risk for becoming a missing person. Some other signs to look out for are:

  • talking about feeling down
  • being overly sensitive
  • no interest in activities that once made them happy
  • no longer reaching out to friends and family

If the person you are searching for has a mental illness, be sure the investigator is aware of all the mental issues and triggers to make searching for that person much easier.

Missing People who are Homeless

Homelessness is one of the biggest factors in a missing person case. Homeless people have limited access to safe and secure shelter, as well as limited access to technology making them much harder to track. One of the biggest causes of homelessness is domestic or family violence and poverty. Homelessness can cause a wide range of health issues as well as social isolation and a feeling of shame or guilt. There are many reasons why a homeless person would go missing, but the most common is because they fall victim to crime or suicide.

Why Would Someone Hire an Investigator for a Missing Persons Case?

Law enforcement agencies work to ensure the safety of the community, which means sometimes, missing person cases get placed on the back burner because a more tangible crime tends to take precedence. Many agencies don’t have the time or resources to tackle many missing person reports. This can leave hundreds, even thousands of families left without answers.

In the case of missing children, many of those cases turn out to be abductions by another family member. Even though this is still a serious crime, many police and law enforcement agencies don’t have the workforce or the resources available to locate those children.

Because of this, private investigators tend to move much more quickly in these situations where time is of the essence. Law enforcement is forced to follow strict guidelines because manpower is limited, but not for private investigators. Our Private Investigators won’t turn a blind eye to your missing person case. Missing person cases deserve attention, and despite law enforcement agencies putting forth their best efforts, sometimes the only way to get that attention to your case is through hiring a private investigator.

Investigators Australia use approaches that are much more thorough than that of many law enforcement agencies and can sometimes be customised to your unique concerns about a person. It’s hard to have patience when the person you love is missing. Investigators Australia will always encourage you to notify police first and contact us second. Our staff of highly trained and skilled investigators is here to help with all your missing person cases.

What Information Can You Provide an Investigator to Help Find a Missing Person?

Immediately after you realized that a person is missing, there are several actions you should take. The first thing you should do is always contact your local law enforcement agency to report the person missing. When you contact law enforcement, tell them that you need to file a missing person report. There is no required amount of time you must wait to file a missing person report. When you file a missing person report the police will ask you several questions. It is very helpful for you to have the following information:

  • Basic information about the missing person
    • full name
    • date of birth
    • nicknames or aliases
    • their current address as well as their previous address if they have recently moved
    • current and former employers
  • A thorough physical description
    • height
    • weight
    • age
    • body type
    • hair colour and hair length
    • eye colour
    • tattoos, scars, birthmarks, and any other distinguishing marks
  • Habits and the personality of the missing person
    • Does the person smoke? If so, what type of cigarettes?
    • Does the person drink alcohol?
    • Is the person using drugs?
    • What are the persons hobbies or activities they typically engage in?
    • What type of personality does the person have? Are they usually depressed?
    • Is the person religious?
    • Does the person have any mental or personal issues going on?
    • Does the person visit any locations frequently?
  • What type of clothes was the person wearing the last time you saw them?
  • Did the person have any plans to take a trip or were they planning to visit someone?
  • Provide any information about the last time the missing person was seen, the location, who the person was with, the direction the person was travelling, the attitude of the person the last time you saw them, or any complaints the person may have expressed before going missing
  • overall health and condition of the missing person
    • things such as physical condition, any known medical problems, handicaps or disabilities, psychological problems, and any addictions that person might have had

Having this information readily available for law enforcement as well as the private investigator can greatly improve the chances of finding the missing person in a timely manner.

Once you have filed a missing person report ask the police to provide you with the police case number as well as contact information for the officer in charge of the case. Secure any personal belongings as well as the living space of the missing person until the police provide further instruction. Several items can be found within the persons living space that can be highly beneficial to law enforcement and investigators when searching for a missing person. These items include:

  • a hairbrush, toothbrush, dirty laundry, and undergarments can be a great use if investigators need a DNA analysis
  • electronic equipment such as cell phones and computers
  • any personal documents such as bank statements, credit card statements as well as bank card information
  • any written materials such as journals, blogs, or diaries

Another thing you can do that can drastically improve the chances of locating the individual, is to start a log or a journal including information about the missing persons’ case. Law enforcement will likely ask that someone from the family volunteer to be a liaison for the family to deal with police investigators. This not only makes the relationship between police officers and their family easier but will also improve the time taken for police to update the family. It is much easier to call one person and have that one person spread the word compared to calling multiple people in the family with information. Talk with your family and close friends about who will be the families primary contact person with law enforcement and investigators. If the members of your family are feeling overwhelmed it might be best to choose a close friend to be that contact person. If the missing person is a child or a special needs adult be sure you inform police of this information above all else.

Investigators Australia works hard for all our clients no matter what the need. Missing person cases, depending on the severity will often take precedent over any other work in our office. When a person goes missing it not only affects people close to that person, but also has a great impact on the missing person themselves. The more information that is found shortly after a person goes missing, the higher the chances of finding that missing person. Therefore, it is essential that you provide as much information as possible to law enforcement and investigators. If you feel that law enforcement is taking too long to find someone you love, contact our offices today and let our investigators take over the case and bring your loved one home.