In the United States, about 2,300 people are reported missing daily. This number doesn’t include the countless thousands who remain unreported by friends and family. Annually reports of missing persons have increased, from roughly 150,000 cases in 1980 to about 900,000 cases in 2011. It is often challenging to locate friends and family.
Locating missing person cases represents a big portion of our private investigator business. On an average day, our private investigative service receives about 10 to 15 phone calls from clients attempting to locate missing friends and family. Calls range in severity from the more serious missing persons and runaway children to the more tame searches for lost loves and wayward relatives.
With the advent of Internet search engines and social media, most of the time people can track down a missing person with their personal computer.
Several Internet websites including our 888-US-Unite people search service provide citizens with the tools to search. Other suggested resources include my free online e-book, “Investigator Confidential,” with tips on finding a missing person. Check out Chapter Two here.
On average, most people can find 50 percent of the individuals they are looking for with the free resources available.
For the other 50 percent, we recommend reaching out to a private investigative service. Our firm has an in-house propriety system designed to track people down. Whereas most services use one or two data sources, our in-house system accesses hundreds of databases at one time, across all 50 states, cities, and counties. If our system can’t find them, they can’t be found.
On average, the cost to conduct a search never exceeds $350.
It’s important to know before contacting a private investigator to help locate lost family or friends, there are four things that are required.
- Common or Uncommon Name: If the name is uncommon, you can usually search just based on that. If you’re looking for a common name like John Smith, the other three criteria are necessary for a computer-based search.
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Last Known Address in the past 10 years
If you have partial information, including the person’s date of birth or social security number, stop and attempt to find more complete information before contacting a private investigator.
There is never a fee for a consultation at www.MartinPI.com or calling our toll-free number at 800.577.1080. Let us know about your situation, and we’ll do what we can to help.