When a family member goes missing, that person's entire world stops. There are few resources available during this time of crisis where family can post information in addition to contacting the authories. The site is http://www.helpfindthemissing.org/ and they do a fantastic job at posting a loved immediately on their site. It is also a place where those in the same situation can share and gain support through an interactive information and discussion board.
As a web based information and awareness organization they depend on contributions.
Example, they could use the services of officer and investigators either on the job or retired in donating their time to families in locating missing loved ones . Graphic artists and printing companies who can quickly make flyers with information. Public Relations professionals who can assist with media in their area when a person has been reported.
And while these dedicated folks do it from the heart, these resources are important in the success of finding missing persons. . I am asking over the holiday weekend that people consider donating your time and professional services. It is fairly simple, just register on the site and contact the administrator . On a daily basis, you are able to spend time with your loved ones. That in and of itself is a reason to celebrate while helping others in their time of need.Below are tips should someone in your community go missing. Consider posting this information in your children's school, your local church, place of employment or on a blog.
What you can do.....Contact local law enforcementSome law enforcement agencies are reluctant to take a report of a missing adult. Stress that you are not trying to control your child’s life but that YOU ARE TRULY CONCERNED FOR HIS/HER SAFETY.
Write down the name of the officer who takes the report as well as the badge number, telephone number and the police report number.
Find out from the officer who will follow up on the initial investigation.
Keep a notebook and record all information on the investigation.
Be sure to ask if your child is entered into NCIC (National Crime Information Computer). The child must be entered here or other law enforcement agencies won’t know that your child has been reported as missing if the child is picked up or a check has been run on them for something else. (It is suggested that you view a read-out of the NCIC report. Sometimes information, such as height and/or eye color, may have been entered with the wrong data. This viewing gives you a chance to correct what might have been entered erroneously.)
Make fingerprint and dental records available to the police.
If there are medical or emotional concerns, make sure they are clearly stated when filing the report.
If a vehicle is involved, make sure the license is also entered into NCIC
Most often with adult missing, the families do the majority of the searching.
Sometimes, there is a desire to cancel a bankcard or credit card. It might be smarter to have law enforcement “flag” these cards so that if used, they will be notified, and might lead you to a paper trail of your loved one or someone who knows where your loved one is.
GET HELP FROM FRIENDS, FAMILY People want to help but they often don't know what to do. Give them tasks – don’t wait for them to ask. They can help with phone calls, completing forms, mailing flyers, reaching out to the media, making certain you take care of yourself, etc.GET FRIENDS AND RELATIVES TO HELP WITH YOUR OTHER CHILDREN DURING THIS CRISIS. Your other children might be in their teens and they are experiencing the same traumatic event that you are. They may feel powerless to do anything constructive. Friends and relatives may be better able to assign them tasks so they can feel useful and helpful during the search. Watch them carefully for signs of trouble as teens have a greater tendency to internalize their feelings. CRIME VICTIM SERVICES—NATIONAL and STATEThe National Victim Center assists victims of crime by educating them about how the criminal justice system works, and providing information about grief and the healing process. They also have information on Crime Victim Services available in each state. Tel: 703-276-2880
Collect personal items of your child’s. Collect some articles of unwashed clothing. Put his/her toothbrush and/or comb or hairbrush in a brown paper bag. Check with the police before you do this. Some states have enacted laws that require police do this collection from all reported missing person, regardless of age of the missing.
Keep a telephone log
Something as simple as a spiral notebook
Write down all the calls made and received
Whom you talk to
The agency name
The persons name and the phone number
Note the date and time and a few notes about what you discussed
It is so easy to forget the agencies and people you’ve talked to and who said what. The notebook will keep you organized and help alleviate some stress.
Collect recent photos of your child to be used to make flyers. Full frontal photos are more desirable.
Keep track of any original photographs of your child and put them in a safe easily accessible place in your home. Have at least 20 copies of each pose made. If you do not have the negatives, copies can be made from the photographs in your possession.
Missing adult children organizations listed on the resource page will make flyers for you. However, you are able to make a flyer yourself at the following website: http://www.beyondmissing.com/
Flyers do help. It’s helpful to use a candid natural photo rather than a posed shot. This will assist people in recognizing your loved one. Make certain that these flyers are posted in the types of areas and retail establishments that your loved one would frequent. If, when requesting a flyer be posted in a retail establishment, the proprietor tells you they won’t post it, request that they put it in the back for the employees to view.
It might be helpful to add a handwritten message on the flyer directed toward your loved one, i.e., “Please call home, we miss you!” or “We need to know that you are okay.”
Provide bus stations with a flyer or picture of your child. Bus stations don’t usually keep track of the names of people on busses but employees may recognize a picture or a description.
Where to post flyers....
Hospital emergency rooms
Low rent motels
Malls & Shopping Centers
Other locations that your child is known to frequent.
Be sure to use an answering machine so you won’t miss a call if your child tries to reach you. Leave an outgoing message on the answering machine for your child in case they call when you are not home. It is important to try and reach out to your child so they can come home without repercussions.
Get “call waiting” on your phone if you don’t already have it. It allows you to answer any call that comes in so your line is always open.
Utilize “last call return” if available in your area for hang up calls – press *69 or the established code for your area. Contact your phone company to find out if there is a better way to track calls in your area.
INTERACTION WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT
*Work as a team. Try to establish a teamwork approach with law enforcement. They need you as part of the team. Cooperation with them is essential. You can also expect law enforcement to ask some hard and difficult questions. DO NOT TAKE THIS PERSONALLY. Remember; keep focused on your goal of getting your child back.*Law enforcement contact person. Establish or have law enforcement establish a contact person (one person) within your local law enforcement agency so you are consistently and accurately informed of on-going developments in your case.*Ask for more help. Ask the FBI and/or your state crime bureau to assist in the investigation. Call the Governor of your State if need be to ask him/her for a show of support for your cause. Your Governor could also call in the National Guard to conduct a ground search.*Media Although TV seldom features missing adults, it is sometimes possible to find a sympathetic columnist with a newspaper who will cover the story and print a photo. It’s very difficult being rejected when reaching out for help. However, there’s always a chance that someone will help. Keep trying. *Contact all local media. Police may have to initiate the request, but you or your spokesperson will be responsible for maintaining contact and keeping attention focused on the abduction story. Set up a phone listing of these local media sources so that they are readily accessible to you. * Website links to media.
http://www.newsdirectory.com/tv/networks/listing of all TV networks
http://www.newsdirectory.com/news/press/na/us/Newspaper listings by State; broken down by either city or area code
http://www.usnpl.com/US Newspaper Links
*Develop a press kit. Write out the information (circumstances surrounding the abduction and description of your child) you want disclosed. Verify the information with law enforcement and make enough copies for the media. Often times this is called a “Media Kit.” Be certain that your child’s photo is included. A local media person may be helpful in pulling this together.*Stick to the facts. Keep the reporters to the facts. Don’t be swayed by leading questions. Disregard their speculation or unfounded rumors. You will carry more credibility if you simply stick to the facts. Focus on the family, your child, the volunteer effort and the emotional issues involved. Report to reporters’ superiors if they are not reporting accurately. Being open to the media is a big part of getting “everyone else” to know about your child. STAY POSITIVE.AWARENESS EVENTSMedia attention will generate leads. Volunteers can organize many events that will keep the story in the hearts and minds of the public.
Organize students who will distribute posters and flyers.
Appearances on radio or television talk shows by parents (radio can be done in-studio by telephone, live or taped.)
Radio stations all across the state can be asked to play your child’s favorite song or a song selected by parents, e.g., “Somewhere Out There” from “An American Tale” and have the song dedicated to the child.
Hold a rally at the child’s school with music and prayers.
Organize a benefit dance and/or auction.
Contact area sports teams to include photos and story in their programs and possibly have a P.A. announcement made at games.
Produce buttons or T-shirts with your child’s name.
Dedication of a garden or a tree to the child.
Hold a candlelight vigil indoors or outdoors.
Bowling tournaments, marathons, etc. dedicated to your child.
Contact banks or local businesses to dedicate a Christmas tree/lights to the child.
Contact radio stations offering to do a telephone interview to remind people to keep watching and looking for the child.
Have classmates do a letter writing campaign, writing to friends and families across the country telling about the missing child.
Organize a human chain linking communities school to school, house to church, etc. Radio stations can help organize the crowd. Ask sports celebrities to participate.
Public Service Announcements and appeals for help on radio and television.
Mass release of helium filled balloons imprinted with child’s name, or with information about the missing child inside.
STAY AWAY FROM NEGATIVE PEOPLEThe continuing search
Keep hope in your heart.
Seek long-term support from Team HOPE, family and friends.
Avoid negative forces.
Continue to keep a journal.
Stay in touch with authorities.
Nurture law enforcement and media relationships.
Take care of yourself
Last but not least, remain calm and avoid negative people.
Someone’s Missing: What You Can DoA Practical Guide for Those Facing a Missing Person
CrisisThis is a pdf file from carolesundfoundation.. you can download and print it out.http://www.carolesundfoundation.com/files/MissingPersonGuide_111306(2).pdf