We’re ending this segment on missing persons by discussing how to get back in touch with long lost loved ones.
In my experience, during Christmas, we tend to notice if someone is missing. A space at the dinner table or one less Christmas card is hard to ignore, especially at a time that reminds us the importance of family and friends.
When people think of Private Investigators and missing persons, what springs to mind are high stakes operations and people hiding from the law. You might not realise that a big part of what we do is help reunite people who have lost touch for one reason or another. An old friend or lost family member can sometimes be just as difficult to find without the proper resources that a PI has access to.
There are some things that you can do first which will help. Information is key in these types of investigations – the more the better, as you never know when you might need to add something new to your search. Things like where they went to high school, other names they go by, employment history, previous addresses and vehicle details are all useful ways to narrow things down. The more information you can give us up front, the better chance we have of finding them.
You can also do a genealogy search on the missing person, as this may flag some other people we can use to get in touch with them. Maybe we can’t find Joe Bloggs easily, but his sister in law Mary Bloggs owns a florist in Colchester and she saw Joe just last week! There are many websites you can use to research family trees – www.ancestry.co.uk is the most popular one, but there are also free sites you can try including www.myheritage.com/Genealogy-UK and www.freeukgenealogy.org.uk/
Your PI will then use the same kind of techniques we have discussed in previous articles to locate your missing person. Once found, we can approach them with a message or your own contact details. What we cannot do, however, is simply give you information about the found person if they do not want us to. Without legal cause to locate them, we cannot provide private information about a person’s whereabouts without their permission.
With that in mind, please think carefully about emotional and mental repercussions of looking for a lost family member or friend. One of my favourite parts of my job is seeing people happily reunited, but we of course cannot guarantee these results in every instance. We can only provide the tools necessary to find that person and reach out to them.
If there is someone you have lost touch with that you would like to reach out to, please get in touch with me and I will do everything within my power to give you that happy ending!