12 Tips to Find a Missing Person

If a loved-one has gone missing, the first thing you should do is call the police. That sounds obvious, but how many times have you read about parents or spouses who delayed calling the police (even though they weren’t involved in the abduction)?

  1. A myth is that there’s a waiting period before the police will take the report seriously. If your 14-year-old has been missing for two hours, call the police. Don’t wait 24 hours.
  2. Call the police daily. You should have the officer’s name who took the case; repeatedly contact that officer. The squeaky wheel finds the missing.MISS
  3. In the case of an adult, check the missing person’s last known address—with permission—to look for clues: notes, belongings, mobile phone, wallet, signs of a struggle, blood, something left cooking, running water, etc.
  4. Contact the person’s family, friends and other contacts. Were there any fights? Talk to coworkers and bosses. Find out if there were any financial problems or signs of depression.
  5. Check with hospitals, medical examiners and coroners. Ask for the individual by name. Also ask if there’s any unidentified patients who fit the description of the missing person.
  6. Check social media; there may be a cyber trail.
  7. If a child is missing, contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
  8. Contact NamUs (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System); here you can upload information about the missing individual.
  9. Put up fliers. This is very effective for increasing awareness. There have been numerous cases in which the missing person called to have the fliers taken down. Post the fliers where the missing person goes often, and use a photo of the person smiling to evoke more community sympathy.
  10. Contact the media. This can put the heat on the police to get the case solved. Contact TV stations, newspapers and the websites of media and launch a mission.
  11. Hire a private investigator. Rates range from $50 to $150 an hour. Shop around good for one, preferably one with a solid record of successful cases.
  12. Never give up hope or action. Also get involved with support groups.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Protecting Your Property When You are Home

In a down economy, people make decisions they otherwise wouldn’t need to consider. Home invasions and robberies make the news every day multiples times a day.

In Huntington West Virginia in just the last two weeks, they’ve seen several different instances where homeowners have fought back and won. But, where is the line when it comes to self defense and protecting what’s your home?

One man says a machete saved his and his family’s lives. “They came at me physically with firearms, as far as I was concerned,” he said. When two thieves broke into his home waving a baseball bat and a toy gun that he thought was real, he wasted no time fighting back.

The suspects spent some time in the hospital before heading to jail. Jeez, the homeowner goes at them with a machete and they went to the hospital. Makes sense.

“They were masked and hooded, but due to their injuries, they were bleeding profusely from head and neck area,” the County Sheriff said.

This homeowner chose an extreme solution for an extreme situation. The whole event could have seriously gone wrong for the homeowner and put himself and family at risk. Ultimately whatever you to survive you’ve done the right thing.

The best defense is a good offense as they say. In this situation preventative measures would keep them from getting in the first place. Therefore, there is no need to hack them all up with a machete. Plus it’s all messy. Icky.

Home security tips:

Timed and/or motion activated lights, inside and out. This burglar stated lights turned on made him nervous and he would go to a home that didn’t pose a threat of getting caught.

Trim bushes and shrubs. Anything covering doors and windows that give a burglar cover is an invitation to a thief. I also recommend defensive shrubbery with lots of thorns.

Encourage your neighbors to report any suspicious activity around your home while you are gone or even while you are home.

Install a home security system. It’s not enough to just lock your doors. A home alarm is an effective deterrent while you are away and while you are home. Even home alarm decals and signage is a layer of protection.

Dogs big and small. A dog need not be an attack dog to be an effective deterrent. Barking dogs bring attention to the home they are protecting.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel Williams.