It is not always necessary to hire a private investigator to
search for a missing person. In fact, the time consuming task
of investigating a missing person can be done by almost anyone.
As long as a person understands and follows the procedure
provided herein, they can do the job of searching for a missing
person as well as a hired detective.
Before beginning, realize that you must maintain a detailed
record of your investigation. Keep this and copies of any
correspondence in a file.
Begin your investigation at the point where the subject was
last seen and radiate in ever-growing circles. When you come up
with a solid lead, your search will then go only in one
Contact the subject’s immediate family very early in your
investigation. See if they have any ideas. From there you
should contact your subject’s closest friends and then the
Now widen your search further by questioning other associates of
the subject, like the hairdresser, bartender, gas station
attendant or newspaper boy. These people must not be overlooked
as they are all sources of possible information.
More than likely, when you have completed the task of speaking
to all these people, you will have some good leads. But if you
wish to further the investigation, use as many of the ten
following sources as you need.
Send an envelope to the last known address of the missing
person, with your own in the upper left corner and write on the
envelope, DO NOT FORWARD – ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED. If a
forwarding address has been left, you will be notified of it.
SUPERIOR COURT DOCKET
By writing to the Court Clerk in the county in which the subject
was last known to reside, you can find out if the subject was
involved in any legal proceedings. There will be a small fee
for the search.
You can check with the telephone company to find out if the
missing person made any long distance calls just prior to
departure. You can check with the people called for any leads.
DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
Request that a search of the department’s files be done for the
missing person’ driver’s license as well as his/her address.
There will be a fee for this service and the missing person’s
full name and date of birth are required to conduct the search.
Your local public library has a city directory which lists
people by name, address and occupation. They also have a cross
reference for phone numbers. Check back for several years,.
Voter registration records are open to the public and these
records show name, address and date of registration.
This county recorder records all types of legal documents, like
marriage certificates and wills. A letter to this office may
open up some leads.
This office is in charge of tax collection. If your subject
owns any property, he will be listed with this office.
CITY BUSINESS LICENSE
If your subject owns a business he will have his license on file
with this office. Run a check on the name of the business and
the subject’s name.
If the missing person is a member of any type of organization, a
letter of inquiry to the local chapter can be helpful.
Under certain conditions, the Social Security Office will assist
in locating a missing person. You must send a letter stating
your reason for wanting to find a person to the Department of
Health, Education & Welfare, Social Security Administration,
Baltimore, Maryland. They do not assist insurance companies or
By going through the right channels, you can conduct your own
investigation for a missing person. Good luck and good hunting!