When people go missing, why aren’t they reported?


It may sound completely insane, but not all missing persons get reported. For many of us that would seem impossible, but it’s all to common for people to find that their fear for somebody who’s gone missing doesn’t end up with a police investigation. The first evidence we have for this sad fact comes from the police themselves. According to Suffolk police, if the person has reasons to disappear and isn’t a threat to themselves or others, they may not rank the investigation as anything above ‘low’. This means that an absconding partner or business colleague, or a young person who has perhaps been using drugs and been caught doing so at work or college, might be considered as ‘low risk’. While the latter are exactly the people who find it easiest to disappear and most difficult to come back home again, the former are often persistent offenders who rip off romantic partners or bosses for money and then vanish. Without a concentrated police focus, those criminals may never be brought to justice.

Private detectives and criminal missing persons

In these cases, an experienced private investigator can make a rapid and conclusive difference. At National Person Finder we often find that when an individual goes missing after emptying the bank account or stealing the savings of their partner, they aren’t what they seemed to be. Through door-to-door investigations and the use of specialist databases, we regularly discover a pattern of this behaviour and can find the aliases and ‘safe houses’ used by such perpetrators – meaning that they can be caught and prosecuted for their offences and prevented from repeating them. It also often means that some or all of their thefts can be recovered for their victims.

When is a missing person not a missing person?

Sometimes a missing persons scenario is not what it seems to be. In an ongoing Australian case the parents of four grown children invited all their offspring on holiday – but left behind their passport and mobile phones. Then, due to the ‘paranoid’ behaviour of their parents, the children walked away in the middle of the trip and the parents fled. The mother was found some days later and is being treated for stress-related illness but the father is still on the loose, having abandoned his car in the outback!

In this situation, it’s quite difficult to understand what has happened, but what’s clear is that some element of the parents’ life had become to much for one or both of them and as a result they tried to rope others into their plan to escape, although from what is still not clear. Often this kind of case turns out to be lined to an undiagnosed psychiatric condition in one person, which ‘infects’ the other with a fear that then causes them to go along with their loved one for a certain period of time, after which their increasingly erratic behaviour can cause them to flee reality, both mentally and in real life.

In such cases, a specialist private detective can have a much greater chance of success than the police because they are able to track and engage with the missing person without being any kind of threat and because their ability to recognise the nature of the problem means they are unlikely to attract the attention of the person they are tracking down.