According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, one in seven children between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away from home at some point in their young lives.
Having a child go missing is an extremely stressful and traumatic time for any family. Due to the staffing and resource limitations that many law enforcement agencies face, an increasing number of parents are turning to private investigators to help them in their search. Investigators in Trustify’s network have successfully handled many runaway persons investigations and can provide the skills and resources needed to find a missing child quickly.
What Is a Runaway Child Investigation?
A runaway child investigation’s purpose is to work with parents, law enforcement, and the community to locate and return a runaway to their home and the care of their parent(s) or legal guardian.
Who are Runaway Person Investigations For?
In most cases, the parent or legal guardian of the runaway is the client. However, it’s not uncommon for someone else, such as a close relative (grandparent, aunt, uncle or sibling,) friend, or neighbor to hire a private investigator to locate a runaway.
Starting a Runaway Person Investigation
Time is critical in any runaway person case. If you have reason to fear for your child’s wellbeing, you should report them missing to the police before doing anything else. If you have already done this and are frustrated with the lack of progress, we’re here to help. Starting a runaway person investigation with Trustify is quick and simple. Here’s how it works:
1. Request a Consultation: Submit your case online or by phone to schedule your consultation. We'll ask for the details we need to get your case matched with an investigator and provide cost estimates.
2. Consultation with a Private Investigator: A licensed private investigator will contact you to talk to you about the purpose and goals of the investigation, and to collect any relevant information about your case.They will ask you to provide any and all information you have regarding the runaway subject. Questions they might ask include:
- Who is the runaway? (Name, age, gender, ethnicity, physical description, etc.)
- What is your relationship to the search subject?
- How long has the subject been missing?
- Have you contacted law enforcement or any other investigators, missing person services or agencies, etc., regarding your runaway?
- Can you describe the circumstances behind your runaway’s leaving?
- Do you have any information as to where the subject may have gone?
- Do you know if your runaway is in the company of others?
- Do you know if the runaway suffers from any physical, mental or emotional problems?
- Do you know if your runaway is in possession of any communication devices (computer, tablet, smart phone)?
3. Investigation in Progress: Methods employed by private investigators in runaway cases include:
- Cooperation and consultation with federal, state, and local law enforcement.
- Accessing a number of exclusive, specialized information resources and databases.
- Contacting friends, family members, coworkers, and other acquaintances of the runaway.
- Securing available communication devices.
- Checking computer files, online profiles, emails, text messages, caller ID, photographs, etc.
- Checking online and print personal ads.
- Conducting physical searches and surveillance.
4. Case Updates & Final Report: Investigators in the Trustify network will keep you informed of all developments in real-time. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, a full report will be provided along with any evidence. In addition, your private investigator may be available to testify on your behalf in court, if necessary and agreed-upon before the start of the investigation.
What Investigators Will Not Do
Investigators will always operate within the confines of the law and ethical guidelines to locate a runaway. Breaking the law can harm an investigation and put people in danger, including the runaway. Investigators cannot compel someone return home if they are over 18, nor can they return a child to the custody of a parent if that parent does not have exclusive custody.