The nightmare has begun! Missing a child is like missing a piece of your heart. While the mind overflows with numerous queries, some immediate actions are required. Children can go missing because of various reasons. The reasons need analysis. So the first and foremost thing is not to panic!
Relating to the statistics from the FBI, in the year 2020, The total number of inputs for missing children was 365,384 in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). So you can imagine, parents reported to the police, and hopefully, most of the children came back.
Where And When Did They Go Missing?
Where was the last place from where your child went missing? Was it from school? On the way to school? What were the clothes worn the last time you saw them? Did they visit someone? Or they encountered anyone on the way? Within half an hour of your child missing, if there are no traces of your child then, the first thing to do is inform the police.
Your child might have lost their way home, or they might have visited somebody’s house or fallen under trap of predators online. A close relative or neighbour or friends or any possible places your child could be. Try to remember the last time you saw them and make guesses and call each one in their homes to ask them. Try to trace possibilities as to where he or she could be. But before all of that, inform the police.
Inform The Police Officers:
The only reason why you should inform the police is that the police department is always there to help you out. The local authorities tell NCIC for the inclusion of your child’s name as an entry. For the information to reach many people, the Be On The Look Out (BOLO) bulletin can serve. Ask them to involve the FBI in the case.
Get the contact number of Law enforcement so that you can report any important information you find.
Know The Area From Where Your Child Went Missing:
Once you know the location from where your child went missing, make sure no one makes any alterations before law enforcement gets there. If it is a school, then inform the school faculty. If your child went missing from home, then do not touch a single item or shift objects. Every little evidence is helpful to find your kid.
Some items contain fingerprints, floors have nails, or even hair strands fall. These are beneficial to the forensic department. Do not touch any objects. Inform the law enforcement officers about the slightest doubt and changes that took place. Keep them updated on your investigation for your child.
Gather Exact Information:
The authorities require exact data to find your child. Provide them with a detail of your kid that includes :
- The full name of your child, the nickname that your child would react on.
- The accurate height of your kid.
- Weight of your child.
- Age of child with the date of birth.
- Dress up of the day the child went missing and gestures.
- If your child uses glasses, watches, or accessories, then information about them too.
- If your child has freckles, birthmarks then inform law enforcement.
- Favourite hang-out place or places you have taken them before.
- Addresses of neighbours, peer group members, school, route your child travelled alone.
- Ways to spot your kid knows.
- Features like dimples or any other.
- Information on health conditions.
- Telephone list of friends and their social media account.
For the detailed description of the physical look of your child, a recent photograph is handy. The photo in black and white reaches many places. It is better to make a copy of pics. These pictures reach out to the media, State Missing Children Clearing House. It is wise to inform the National Center For Missing And Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Contact Friends, Neighbors, And Dear Ones:
After informing the police and giving the required details, you can now contact friends and neighbors. Your investigation can find a lot more. So do not stop. Call each one of them and ask them if they know anything about the child missing. It could be such that your child happens to reach there by any chance.
Ask them to start their investigation too. Sometimes the children can be in the areas they have visited before. Ask shops and other people nearby to do the same. Think of your parenting techniques and where you feel needs amendment.
Stay Ready On The Phone:
Be near your phone. Your neighbors might find something about the missing kid. It could be agents from Law enforcement seeking more particulars. Keep your phone charged and be there to pick it up.
Sometimes your child can also call you. It could be someone who knows about your kid. Make sure you jot down every data and stay mindful. If you receive calls from an unknown number or receive mysterious calls, inform law enforcement immediately. If possible then, track calls from your device such that it is easy to detect the caller.
Be There To Provide Information:
The pieces of evidence are present in your child’s room. Keep the door open for investigators. They might need to access your child’s stuff like diaries or gadgets or any. Also, inform them about the event they last visited, like a birthday party or school event, or a fair. Let them know about your child’s introduction or interaction with somebody new.
The pieces of information you provide are valuable. They can join to find your child, like pieces of a puzzle join.
Start Your Own Mini-investigation In The Community:
Inform the members of your community, locality such that they watch out for your kid. It is possible to trace nearby supermarkets or shops or any busy areas to find shreds of evidence.
Get informed of any new members in the community or any changes that have taken place. Check up on the staff in school and ask the teachers about your child. It is also better to discuss with your kid’s friends as they might drop some clues.
Take Good Care Of Your Family and Self:
Times like these can be stressful and traumatic for the whole family. Remember, you need extra care and energy to find your kid. Be the strength of the entire family and help each other out. If you do not take care of yourself and skip meals, it might lead to another problem.
It is better to talk it out with someone ready to listen. Do not keep things to yourself. It is always wise to discuss them with the people available.
National Center For Missing And Exploited Children (NCME) can help in finding your missing child. Call 1-800-843-5678. NCMEC has links to many organizations that will help the search operation for your child to expand.
These organizations help to distribute pictures, collaborate with others and analyze the case of your child. They might be able to track suspects and aid in finding your kid.
Some Tips To Prevent Children From Missing
Children need to be aware of many things as they are innocent and vulnerable and online safety is different for different age categories. Some tips for children are:
- Teach them to avoid going anywhere without your permission. Make a habit of inquiring children about their day-to-day activities. Sometimes they may forget way to home or forget address due to less concentration in mind.
- Keep a notice for who they hang out with and teach them not to trust a person directly. Ask them to stay away from strangers. Make sure you know all the people they go around and interact with.
- Keep a telephone diary in their bag pack if the child is too small to have a cellphone. If your child keeps a mobile phone, keep a GPS tracker or parental control applications so that you can trace the location and find out where your kid is. Some free keyloggers offer aid to parents by sending a copy of what keywords they typed.
- Let them know about asking people if they get lost on roads and how to reach home safely.
- Inquire them about any harsh treatment from others and notice their behavior routinely.