By John M. Carpino
Runaway Teens and Adult Cases
* Keep a recent photo and a set of
fingerprints for use by law enforcement.
Check with your local law enforcement agency and see if they have an
Operation Identification Program, which will help in securing fingerprints
for a child. Also visit Friends of SafetyCops/Links for
a source to obtain
materials for fingerprinting.
* Keep a list of your teens friends with current telephone number(s), cell
phone number(s), pager number(s), and E-Mail address info.
* Keep track of what your teen is wearing when they leave the house as it
may assist the police when making a report, as well as a list of any/all
jewelry worn by your teen.
* When making a Missing Person Report immediately request a list of
telephone calls made from your residence in the past month from your local
telephone company provider. The list may give you and the police a valuable
lead. You can even check the telephone numbers yourself by calling your
local Name & Address Service. You can check phone numbers yourself by going to
Non-Pub telephone numbers will not be listed with a Name & Address Service,
but your local law enforcement agency can obtain this info. during an
official missing person investigation with a subpoena.
* If your teen has a cell phone and you pay the bill then you should be
receiving a monthly printout of calls made. Keep tabs on the numbers called
by your teen. This is your child and you need to take-a-stand and monitor
* Check the trash can(s) in your home and locate any notes, numbers, names,
etc.,etc. your teen or adult family member may have written down and
discarded. It just may be a lead.
* Open your telephone book(s) and check the yellow pages as the runaway or
adult may have circled a point of interest that may point you and the police
in the right direction.
* In the case of an adult immediately ask your credit card company to
furnish you any info. on recent transactions on the account. Also check with
your bank and determine if any recent transactions have been made.
* Call all of the friends and known acquaintances of your teen and see what
they know about the situation.
* In the case of an teen or adult check with their employer and determine
when they were last at work and what if any info. they have to offer.
* Do as much as possible as soon as possible. The longer a teen is missing
the more their path is going to get cold and you may loose valuable
* Don't hesitate to notify the police immediately in the case of a missing
teen, as well as that of an adult, especially if foul play is suspected.
* Make flyers/posters with a photo of the missing person and a telephone
number a caller can call with information. Post these flyers in local stores
and known spots your teen frequents.
* In the case of an adult and given a past of Alzheimer's disease, you need
to take away the cars keys if you haven't done so by now. Visit our page on
dealing with Alzheimer's disease.
* If your teen has access to a family car and the car is at home, check out
the interior and attempt to locate a note, receipt, telephone number,
etc.,etc. that may be a lead.
* Check their bedroom and locate any information that may be helpful to the
police. Don't keep any secrets from the police as they need to know anything
and everything that may help them bring your teen home.
* If you receive any information during the investigation that may assist
the police make sure they are so informed immediately. Major cities may have
a Missing Persons Division while a smaller agency may have a patrol officer
or detective/youth officer conducting the investigation. In any event the
police are trained in these types of matters and can only follow up on what
you furnish them, besides the leads they develop during their investigation.
* If your teens is a runaway there is a problem that you need to address.
Visit SafetyCops articles on Drugs and Teen
Suicide for more details.
* Ask the police what you can do to assist them as you don't want to be
duplicating work. If you feels its necessary due to the circumstances
surrounding the Incident to call in a private detective, then find a reliable
one that deals in these types of cases.
* For other related links visit our At-A-Glance
think positive and when your teen returns home safely
make sure you follow up with finding out the cause and get the appropriate
help. You don't want there to be a next time.