We are used to being the last resort. It kind of comes with the missing persons investigations territory. It doesn’t apply to all cases where we are asked to find a missing person, but many.
was hired by an insurance company to try to locate a missing person who was the heir to the estate of a man who died at the age of 85. He had never married and had had one sibling – a sister – and an older sister at that. Both his parents were long deceased and there was no record of his having any contact with his sister for over 40 years.
The last information provided to the missing persons investigator was that she had moved to California – somewhere. To top it off, the last name was very common as was her first name. And, that’s assuming she never married. She could be anywhere in the world.
You might wonder how a missing person investigator begins a search for a missing person in this sort of situation. It’s not easy, but we always start with the basics and use good, old-fashioned investigative techniques:
- Date of birth or partial date of birth
- Track down a social security number
- Look up former addresses
- Talk to any relatives, former co-workers or neighbors
Sometimes a family member has a little nugget of good information and that provides a lead. Once people are linked, such as in marriage or a legal arrangement, that can provide a nugget. These tiny bits of information can result in finding the missing person, but it takes a great deal of legwork to ferret out the facts from the conjecture.
In the case of this family, we were able to locate the woman. She had died several years before, but had never married and lived out her retirement in Oregon. She did, however, have a child – a son, who was now retired and also living in Oregon. And, in the end, he inherited the estate of the uncle he had never met or even knew existed.
You never know what the end result will be in a missing person case. We just do our best to find the person or the truth.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations