Missing ChildA missing person search can begin for a wide number of reasons, but when it involves a child, the sense of urgency is heightened.

When a little girl named Maddie vanished from her foster parents’ home, the entire community was alarmed. Concerns about child predators or the potential of the little 6-year-old girl possibly drowning in the nearby reservoir were on everyone’s minds. Immediately the local police issued an Amber Alert, hoping someone somewhere would see the missing child.

Unsure of whether Maddie’s foster parents might be involved in her disappearance, social workers removed three other young children from the couple’s home. While the foster parents were under investigation for any wrongdoing, local police detectives questioned neighbors and friends of the family.

An effort was also made to locate Maddie’s biological parents. But according to the records, Maddie’s biological father was incarcerated and her mother disappeared more than a year prior. After a couple of weeks, the case was losing steam. There wasn’t enough man power to continue searching.

The attorney for Maddie’s very distraught foster parents requested assistance from private investigators. Beginning with good old-fashioned door-to-door visits, investigators interviewed neighbors and friends of the foster parents along with Maddie’s first grade teacher and pediatrician. Eventually, information about Maddie’s mother, a known crack addict, and the child’s maternal grandmother provided a fruitful lead. Employing social media engineering, investigators were able to locate the mother and grandmother on Facebook.  Other relatives were also identified including a great aunt. According to the woman’s Facebook profile, she resided in New Mexico and taught art classes to kids.

While the Facebook interactions were being monitored, the weeks wore on with no leads on Maddie’s whereabouts. Finally, Maddie’s grandmother and aunt got too comfortable. The great aunt posted a new photo on Facebook. And the missing child was in the photo, participating in an art class.

Immediately, surveillance equipment and personnel were brought into the picture in New Mexico. Electronic surveillance with date and time stamps resulted in videos of Maddie’s grandmother and great aunt, doing day-to-day activities with Maddie in tow. With the evidence of her location, authorities were able to return Maddie to her foster family and Maddie’s mother was arrested for kidnapping.

staff knows how to find a missing person. In fact, our investigators are widely known throughout Indiana as the premier missing person investigation resource. Not every missing person search involves a child or a kidnapping; most are family request searching for lost parents or siblings. We also do a great deal of work locating missing heirs for attorneys or estate executors and locating long lost friends or past loves. Whatever the situation, has the experience, skill and resources to find missing persons.

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