Friday, March 2, 2018

Important Advice For Finding Missing Persons Alabama Officials Have To Offer

By Gary Wallace

No one expects a family member to suddenly disappear. Once you know the person is definitely gone, the real panic sets in. You have no way of knowing whether the disappearance is voluntary or an abduction. Your loved one's safety is paramount, especially if he relies on medications. Experts say what happens in the first hours and days will determine the outcome. Officials have important advice when it comes to finding missing persons Alabama families need to hear.

Calling the police is the first thing to do. You need to have all pertinent information ready when you talk to them. You will have to wait three days until the individual can be put into the FBI's National Crime Information Center network. Once his name is added he will be in a national database. The three day waiting period can be waived in cases where mental health is an issue.

Friends and co-workers can be a great source of information. If your loved one is seeing a doctor or social worker, you need to get in touch with them as well. You want to know when they last saw the person and the state of mind he was in. You can ask if he said or did anything that seemed out of character as was troubling to them. It's important to remember that some professionals may give limited information because of confidentiality restrictions.

Public facilities like homeless shelters, hospitals, churches, and libraries might provide some clues. These are places missing persons often end up. Some of these places may have confidentiality restrictions placed on them as well. Any parks, restaurants, or bars you know your loved ones is partial to should be contacted and asked for assistance.

If your loved one was active on social media, you can go to their personal pages to see when they last posted and what was posted. Online friends and followers can be a source of new information. If the individual was leaving strange or disturbing messages you need to alert the police.

If the person still has not been found, you need to consider going to the local media to spread the word. A lot of people watch local news every day and may be able to give you information about a possible sighting. It is not unusual for national news broadcasts to pick up missing persons stories and feature them on early morning and nightly news shows.

Printed fliers aren't high tech, but they can be extremely effective at getting the attention of local citizens. Posting them on bulletin boards, utility poles, and in shop windows will get a lot of notice. You should include current pictures, a physical description, and the description of what the person was driving, if that applies. A phone number, the police or investigator's, not yours, needs to be in a prominent location on the flier.

Hopefully you will never experience the fear and panic family members feel when a loved one is missing. If it does happen however, taking logical steps to bring them home is critical. Working with the professionals is the best chance you have for a positive outcome.

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