Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Skip Tracing / Missing Persons Investigations

Private Investigator Basics: Missing Persons Investigations

Missing persons investigations are the best way to find out the truth about anyone you can't find.

On average, more than 800,000 people are reported missing and are entered into FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) annually. Of these, 85%-90% are minors. These statistics do not include those who are unofficially missing such as those who have not been reported as missing persons.

One of the big problems with police-led missing persons investigations is simply that the term missing persons is so narrow. Police will only begin looking for a missing child at a specific amount of time after the child was last seen and by that time, it may be too late if the child has been kidnapped by a pedophile or child killer. Police are also reluctant, due to thinning resources, to search for people who voluntarily left home or for those who live on the streets. Even in a police-led missing person investigation, police will stop looking after a certain amount of time and will declare the case a cold case. 

Police do their best with the resources they have, but law enforcement simply is not equipped to deal with the crime rates today. Anyone who wants real answers and fast needs to speak to a private investigator. A professional investigator will start looking for someone as soon as you feel uneasy and will continue to search as long as you are still looking for answers.

Skip Tracing - People Locates

Skip tracing is a process used to find someone who is missing. It generally requires gathering, organizing and analyzing large amounts of data on an individual to make a conclusion about where he or she might be. Private investigators and professional skip tracers typically carry out these activities. Done most commonly to find people to rekindle relationships or handle legal and financial situations.

Skip tracing is an colloquial term used to describe the process of locating a person's whereabouts for any number of purposes. The term comes from the word "skip" being used to describe the person being searched for, and comes from the idiomatic expression "to skip town," meaning to depart, perhaps in a rush, and leaving minimal clues behind for someone to "trace" the "skip" to a new location. 

The days when you went to the phone book, criss-cross directory, or reverse directory are old-school and costly compared to the skip tracing technology options today. In fact, just looking for an address or a phone number isn’t the only thing investigators can ask of technology.

With the advent of technology in general, the availability and quality of information has expanded dramatically. Price can certainly be an issue, but many times the price is very inexpensive when measured to the benefit gained by it.


Professional investigators are hired to find:
  • Long lost loved ones or family members who have voluntarily disappeared or run away
  • Fugitives
  • Missing persons who have been gone a long time and are part of a cold case
  • Runaways and miners who have been kidnapped
Basically, if you are worrying about someone's whereabouts and wish to locate someone who is not easy to find, a qualified missing persons investigator will be able to use advanced techniques to help find the person you are looking for.


Professional investigators use a number of techniques to find missing persons:

  • Networking with fugitive recovery agents, law enforcement, other private investigators, or paying informants. Private investigators often have extensive networks of people they can recruit to help them in a search.
  • Surveillance and videotaping. Investigators can observe places where a missing person is likely to be or can observe and track a suspect in a missing persons case.
  • Searching hospitals and mortuaries. Private investigators can search through a number of facilities where a victim may be.
  • Doing background checks, questioning witnesses, and other investigative techniques. Private investigators can turn to others to isolate likely suspects or likely sources of aid in finding a missing person.

Count on the team at Brian Blackwell Investigations in Seattle, Washington, to provide you with unparalleled skip tracing investigations. Whether you want to track someone down or know if he or she is committing fraud, we are here for you.


Brian Blackwell Investigations | Seattle, WA