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The Missing: What Happens When Someone Disappears?


Finding out that a relative or close friend has gone missing is everyone’s worst nightmare, but it is surprisingly very common. Do you know what you would do if someone close to you disappeared one day? We’ve looked into the process that begins once an individual goes missing, and uncovered some surprising facts and figures.

The Police’s Part

If someone has not returned home for a long period, the first step that their family usually take is to call the police. Most people believe that they need to wait at least 24 hours before reporting someone to the authorities, but that isn’t the case anymore. The police now take calls regarding missing people at any time, no matter how long they have been missing for. The police might then decide that the individual is at a high risk if they fall into one of several categories. These include being under 16 or over 65, is known to have suicidal feelings in the past, or is suffering from Alzheimer’s. The police normally ask for the individual’s personal details and what they were wearing when they were last seen.

Growing Numbers Of Missing Individuals

Back in 2011, around 327,000 people aged under 18 went missing, and this figure seems to be slowly rising each year. It is thought that police departments around the country currently receive between 850 and 1,000 cases of missing people each month. That equates to around 5% of all police work.

Where Are People Found

Even though hundred of missing cases go unsolved after they are reported, the majority of people are found within 48 hours. Thankfully, most children are found within this time period. Looking at previous success cases has helped the police to improve their techniques in finding missing individuals. For instance, young boys are more likely to be found outside whereas young girls are likely to be found inside. Using information like this can help police focus their search technique.


What Happens When The Police Can’t Help?

Unfortunately, the police aren’t successful in all of their searches and, as a result, more and more people are relying on the likes of Lyonswood Investigations & Forensics to help search for their friend or relative. As these private investigation companies are hired by the family, they can dedicate themselves to the case, unlike the police who have to split their time between various cases.

The Legal Right To Disappear

If a child is found, they are forced to return to their parents or legal guardians. However, this isn’t the case when an adult is found as they have a legal right to disappear. If someone does request not to be taken back to their family once they are found, then the police or detectives will close the case and tell the family that their relative is alive and safe. However, they can not disclose the individual’s whereabouts.

There are many families struggling to find a missing relative. Thankfully, the police’s search methods continue to improve year upon year.