RESOURCES FOR FAMILY AND CAREGIVERS OF MISSING PEOPLE
REPORT YOUR LOVED ONE TO THE LOCAL POLICE
The first step in this trying time is to report your loved one to the local authorities. Be prepared to provide the following information:
- The name of the complainant
- The name, address, and phone number of the guardian, if any, of the missing person
- The relationship of the complainant to the missing person
- The name, age, address, and all identifying characteristics of the missing person
- The length of time the person has been missing
- All other information deemed relevant by either the complainant or the law enforcement agency
According to Missouri Statute 43.401.1, the report of the complaint of a missing person shall be immediately entered into the Missouri uniform law enforcement system (MULES) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system by the law enforcement agency receiving the complaint.
No matter what you may have heard, there is no time limit to report a missing person. If you believe that a person has gone missing under the criteria outlined in Missouri Statute 43.400.1, report them immediately. No law enforcement agency shall prevent an immediate active investigation on the basis of an agency rule which specifies an automatic time limitation for a missing person investigation.
REGISTER THEM WITH THE NATIONAL MISSING AND UNIDENTIFIED PERSONS SYSTEM (NAMUS)
Go to WWW.FINDTHEMISSING.ORG and upload information about your missing person. This powerful resource will help you, law enforcement, medical examiners and other members of the justice community enter data about the person who is missing. You should include details such as physical characteristics and where they were last seen.
CREATE A MISSING PERSONS POSTER
You can create a missings person poster using an online template or have one made by the Missouri Highway Patrol Missing Persons Clearinghouse. Upon request, the Missing Persons Unit will create missing persons posters to assist law enforcement agencies with investigations. These posters can be disseminated nationwide within a matter of minutes. Posters can also be created to assist families who have filed a missing person report. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a poster. Please include the circumstances and a contact phone number.
If you are making your own missing person poster, here’s a list to get you started of things to include:
- Two recent photos
- Hometown, plus state
- Height, weight, age, recognizable features (tattoos, glasses, piercings)
- Vehicle license plate number and photo of car
- Phone number of police station or investigator
- Place last seen at
UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA
Social Media, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok can be a great place to spread information about your missing loved ones.
Create a Facebook page and, if possible, a website for your missing person. This information can be spread widely by people wishing to help, even from afar.
Post recent photos, preferably without filters and from a variety of angles. Include on any social media pages a concise description of your missing person, including a physical description, the clothing they were last seen wearing or may have taken with them, and recognizable features such as glasses, tattoos, or piercings.
ALERT THE LOCAL MEDIA
Getting the local media to make a public announcement may allow for the missing person to see the notice and decide to return home. This publicity can also lead police and others to devote more resources to solving the case. While the local media is not obligated to publish information about your story, any way to get the information out there can be beneficial.
The Doe Network is a 100% volunteer organization devoted to assisting investigating agencies in bringing closure to national and international cold cases concerning Missing & Unidentified Persons.
Nationwide information clearinghouse offering free, secure, easy-to-use, online technology to help expedite case associations and resolutions.
Free-of-charge forensic services including forensic odontology and fingerprint examination, as well as forensic anthropology and DNA analyses through the UNT Center for Human Identification laboratories. Investigative support from seasoned staff who provide case consultations and support criminal justice efforts to drive missing and unidentified person case resolutions. Victim services providing information and support to individuals and families impacted by the loss or disappearance of a loved one.
Training and outreach from NamUs subject matter experts, including assistance with planning and facilitating Missing Person Day events across the country.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. NCMEC works with families, victims, private industry, law enforcement, and the public to assist with preventing child abductions, recovering missing children, and providing services to deter and combat child sexual exploitation.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol recognizes the importance of providing assistance to the families of missing individuals. In 1985, the Missouri General Assembly signed into law state statute 43.402, which established the Missing Persons Unit within the Highway Patrol. Since that date, the Missing Persons Unit has served as the clearinghouse for the State of Missouri, and is an investigative unit within the Patrol’s MIAC Division in Jefferson City. This unit provides technical and investigative assistance to law enforcement agencies, and serves as a point of contact for citizens and family members of missing individuals.
The Polly Klaas Foundation is a Petaluma, CA based, national nonprofit dedicated to the safety of all children, the recovery of missing children, and public policies that keep children safe in their communities. Since our founding in 1993, the Foundation has used our compassion, experience and professionalism to help more than 10,000 families find missing children.
Community United Effort also known as (CUE) Center for Missing Persons, a 501c3 tax exempt non-profit organization, founded in Wilmington, North Carolina, serving missing persons nationwide. Since 1994, our center has provided advocacy for missing children and adults, free professionally trained search personnel and victim support service. To date the CUE Center has helped more than 12,000 families in what is often the most confusing and desperate times of their lives.
Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team started in August 2000 with the purpose to provide Volunteer Horse Mounted Search and Recovery for Lost and Missing persons. We currently have approximately 1,000+ members and are growing rapidly. We are currently available to conduct searches nation and worldwide. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which is funded solely by donations.