To Find a Missing Person, Create LinksPrivate investigators are called in to find missing persons in many situations. Sometimes police cases are still open and sometimes they have gone cold. Here at we are known for our ability in finding people. But sometimes there is a cruel twist that is heartbreaking for families.

One such instance was a case we came into after the fact. An 8-year-old boy, we’ll call Josh, had gone missing 14 years prior and the police case had gone cold. There had not been any new leads in more than five years. Then all of a sudden, a call came in from a law enforcement agency in Europe. A young man had come in and told the story of how he was Josh and had been abducted, relocated to Europe and sold into child slavery and pedophilia. The family was overjoyed to have him coming home and accepted him wholeheartedly. That is, everyone in the family except the father. He wasn’t certain that this was his son.

He called his attorney and his attorney called . In a missing person investigation our researchers follow leads and find threads and some of the threads did not seem stable in the boy’s story. All the broken links we found would not convince Josh’s mother that her boy had really not come home. She insisted that a DNA test would prove us all wrong.

When the DNA test results arrived, the truth was revealed. The newly returned Josh was not her son. He confessed to actually being a 24-year-old con artist – supposedly with a heart. He wanted a secure home and future and he hoped he would bring closure and happiness to the family.

A missing people search is not limited to immediately when a person first is missing. We know how to find missing persons when they have been gone for many years and no one has any idea where they are today.

If you want to find a person, gather together as much information as you can about that person. Potential clues are in:

  • Date of birth
  • Location of birth
  • Siblings’ and parents’ names
  • Friends’ names
  • Places of employment
  • Prior residences
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Particular skills and talents
  • Social security number
  • Prior memberships in clubs, groups and associations
  • School history

When asked how to locate people, we always start with this sort of list. But a missing person search is successful when trained investigators use this information to start linking together history and following each thread.

-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations