A parent’s worst nightmare is that someday their child will go missing without a trace. All too often we read stories about children that seem to vanish off the face of the earth and years later their parents are still waiting for answers. Having dealt with cases like this at Anti-Predator Project we wanted to offer parents some advice in the event their child becomes missing.
- 1. Contact law enforcement immediately! Many people are under the impression that you have to wait 24 hours to file a missing child report with law enforcement. This is a myth as law enforcement will take a missing child report right away. The sooner you can notify law enforcement and get an APB out for your child the better.
- 2. Start searching yourself! Retrace your child’s last known steps. Call friends, check out known hang outs, and go to their last known location! Start this process as soon as possible and recruit as many volunteers to help that you can. The quicker you start and the more people looking the better.
- 3. Check your child’s room! It’s not uncommon that children hide things from their parents. Often time if they are planning something or were going somewhere they didn’t want their parents to know about they may have hidden this information somewhere in their room.
- 4. Check your child’s social media! In today’s world of social media this is perhaps the most important place to check. People tend to post their entire lives on social media; especially the younger generation. If your child has their own computer and cell phone and do not have those items with them make sure and turn those items over to law enforcement investigators or a private investigator. They will have the ability to conduct a forensic investigation that may let you know if you child was corresponding with someone or if they had a social media account they didn’t want you to know about. One of the very first things Anti-Predator Project investigators do is ask to see any computers in the home that the child may have used.
- 5. Act quickly! Every minute in a missing child investigation is crucial! The sooner you can begin the process of locating your child the better your chances are for a positive result.
Remember to always call 911 first if your child should go missing. In the event you would like to seek outside help you may always contact the Anti-Predator Project 24 hour assistance line at 305-609-1918 or ask for our assistance via our website at www.antipredatorproject.org.