5 Interesting Facts About Missing Persons Cases

Understanding Key Missing Persons Facts

If someone known to you vanishes and their welfare remains unclear, whether the disappearance is voluntary or not, you need to report the incidence to law enforcement immediately.

As time passes, the likelihood of finding missing persons decrease. Therefore, acting with urgency is crucial to speeding up the investigation. This increases the prospect of finding the location of the victims.

According to the NCIC’s Missing Person and Unidentified Person Statistics, up to 543,018 missing person cases were recorded in 2020. While most of the records were cleared after the subjects returned home or were located by the law enforcement agencies, more than 89,000 cases remained active by the close of the year, 31 December 2020.

Juveniles, individuals below 21, comprised 43 percent of missing person cases, with children being the most vulnerable subjects.

1. Reporting Missing Persons

So, why do you need to report incidences of missing persons immediately?

As mentioned earlier, the search for missing persons is a race against time. As soon as the concerned party reports the case to a law enforcement agency, the countdown begins. Experts say that the first 72 hours are the most valuable in any investigation for a missing individual.

a) Evidence integrity

Whether it’s a private investigator or a public detective handling the case, the first step in tracing a missing individual is gathering sufficient evidence.

The first 48 hours give investigators a window to obtain meaningful information from leads before the details of events surrounding the disappearance begin to fade from their memories.

Apart from family members, the detectives will be seeking input from members of the public who might have interacted or observed the subject before vanishing.

Since most of these ‘witnesses’ are always going about their daily businesses at the time of a subject’s disappearance, the leads are likely to reduce after 72 hours.

b) Subject safety

The first three days are crucial when the subject is in transit and exposed to a significant danger. Vulnerable groups such as children and mentally ill individuals require quicker intervention as they’re more likely to be harmed.

Here’s a worrying fact, children kidnapped by strangers are usually murdered within the first 48 hours, necessitating an urgent response.

2. Statistics of Missing Persons

The FBI’s National Crime Information Center is responsible for recording cases of missing persons by states. The current statistics on missing subjects show that:

  • About 2,300 children in the United States are reported missing every day. This implies that a child disappears every 40 seconds. When your child goes missing, first call the law enforcement before reporting to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
  • Fifty-two percent of missing persons are females, which is similar to their proportion in the general population.

3. NCIC Missing Person Profile

The police usually record the case of a missing person in the FBI’s NCIC profile within 2 hours of reporting. Once in the system:

  • The information is retained indefinitely. If the entering agency cancels the entry after confirming it’s invalid or the subject is located, the data is purged from the system. After seven years of unsuccessful investigation, the missing person is legally deemed as deceased.
  • The missing person can be grouped as disabled, endangered, juvenile, catastrophe victim, involuntary, or other depending on the circumstances surrounding their disappearance.

4. Missing Children Facts

Up to 34 percent of cases of missing persons in 2020 were children. According to NISMART, children’s disappearance is attributable to five reasons: family abduction, stranger abduction, runaway, lost or stranded, or other benign causes.

  • Runaway, the most prevalent cause of missing children, occurs when a fourteen-year-old or younger leaves home without permission for at least a night. Children above fourteen years who leave home for more than two nights without permission are also runaways. 21 percent of children who run away are victims of sexual or physical abuse at home.
  • A family member who takes or keeps a child against the legitimate rights of a custodial parent or guardian is guilty of family abduction, regardless of the reason for their action.

5. Missing Persons Alert Systems

For abducted children in imminent danger, the law enforcement uses AMBER Alert to galvanize support from communities for faster subject recovery.

  • Launched in 1996 in memory of Amber Hagerman, the AMBER Alert has helped recover more than 1,074 children.
  • AMBER Alert System is available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, Indian Country, and 33 other countries to help relatives find missing children.

Missing Persons Investigations in Tampa, FL

Once you report a missing person, the law enforcement agencies evaluate the circumstances to determine whether the case is urgent or not. The police might not take quick action unless the subject is in imminent danger, and that’s why you can count on Sig 14 Investigations.

A detective specializing in missing person investigations provides a broader scope of essential services in obtaining every crucial information about the missing subject. For the services of an experienced private detective in Tampa, contact Sig14 Investigations today! Call us at (813) 261-1192 for a free consultation.