Needless to say, hearing about cases of people who go missing out of the blue and apparently off the face of the earth is highly stressful and nerve-wracking. In fact, to-date there are hundreds of unsolved cases that do not seem to be any closer to being resolved. The recent case of Madeleine McCann, for instance, is one. With all the mystery and confusion that typically surrounds such cases, it can be difficult to think clearly, and even after having invested a significant amount of resources, there is not so much as a clue to guide one in the right direction. On that note, let us look at some of the critical steps required to locate a missing person.
Let the Authorities Know
Immediately. You may be required to wait a day or two before filing a missing persons report, but as soon as that is done, you should go to the police. They will be able to assist with the search process, sending out alarms and notices all around the area and other relevant regions accordingly. However, you do have to remember that even the police are limited to what they can do for them, and if the person missing is over 18 years of age, they also look at the possibility of the person having left of their own accord. That said, it all depends on each individual circumstance.
Mobilize the Community
The police undoubtedly have a stronghold in the community and power where they do not, but that also means that they can be restricted somewhat in their search for missing people. For instance, anyone holding the missing person hostage may be on the lookout for police anyway, which means that they can only get so close. Hence, it is important that you mobilize the community and get them involved in the search. You will find that this is not too hard since people often readily help out with such serious problems.
Put Up Notices
Everywhere that is close to your home, and the place they went missing. Putting them up in surrounding areas and as far and wide as possible can be useful, so that even the missing person could see them and know there’s someone looking for them. You want to keep the search going, although, after a very long time, it might dwindle especially if there are no developments in the case. It is crucial that you get all this done in the early days, so people are still very much involved and can therefore help you out.
Seek Higher Assistance
If you feel like the local police are not being very useful, you can, of course, turn to other resources depending on where you live. Different countries may have different missing persons databases which you can refer to and see if there is any information you can extract. Additionally, you can also start gathering all the information and evidence you have of the case, and maintain a separate file for it, so you can refer to it anytime you need to. You never know what you may unearth.