No one is ever prepared for the traumatic experience that comes when someone you love goes missing. No manual tells you what exactly to do in scenarios like this. Unfortunately, the only examples we have are from T.V Series, which are close to our reality.
A piece of news that recently moved us is the missing case of Kiely Rodni, a 16-year-old teenager who disappeared after attending a campground party in Northern California. We are concerned about the family and friends who are working hard and doing their best to find her.
In our role of providing relevant information to the community, we want to take action for Rodni's family and future families that can experience the same situation. We’ve prepared a practical guide to search for a loved one. We know it’s not easy to think that someone close to us can go missing but there is always that possibility, so it’s better to be prepared and know what to do.
Please continue reading and take notes of all the steps you can follow from the moment you know that someone you loved is missing.
It is a common belief that you have to wait 24 hours to report someone as missing, but as soon as your loved one’s whereabouts are unknown and there is a concern for their safety and welfare, they can be reported missing to the police.
First, you should check the areas normally frequented by the missing loved one and contact the last persons who were with them to see if they have any clue where the person could be. If there is no answer or idea, this is already enough of a sign to take action and report them as missing persons to your local police.
You may also want to read: How to help when there is a missing person in your area
We recommend you file the report in person and convey the reason for your concerns. It would be better to go with someone who shares your worry. Police must take reports of missing persons, and do not accept if they send you away.
Keep in mind the following recommendations as you prepare to report to the police:
Every detail you know about your missing person is crucial for the police investigation. It is worth recording every detail while they are fresh in your mind; we suggest taking a moment to get all the information written down. Even facts you do not seem particularly relevant may be practical later.
You can have either a hard copy or a soft copy of notes detailing facts, contacts, lists, etc. A completed form will help when you decide to report to the police and appeal to the public.
To give you an idea of how to create a report, consider the following:
You are not alone in this situation, lots of people want to help, so let them be part of the search. The first step in a productive search is to delegate, and take advantage of people’s skills. Define who will design, write, manage digital platforms, etc. Remember to use volunteers wisely, don’t burn them out.
Here are some directions to lead a successful search:
We admire Rodni’s family, who are following this step and doing their part in the investigation. They created the Find Kiely Website to provide essential info and report all the activities they are organizing looking for a successful search.
Please visit the website, and if you have any relevant information that may help them, feel free to share it.
If you do not want to provide your personal information, they have an anonymous tip line that you can call.
In moments like this, you are focused and worried about the missing person but also worry about yourself. The physical and mental impact can be just as debilitating as the emotional, please do whatever it takes to get sleep and eat well. Remember you are not alone, accept support from family and friends.
Also, read The ultimate "If I go missing" folder template and checklist
Here are some suggestions that could help you keep going and stay healthy while you are looking for your loved one:
Seek help from the organizations listed for additional information, guidance, and support.
List of organizations that will help you:
A missing person will not be in trouble or arrested for going missing. It is not wasting police time to report someone missing. You won't be in danger by reporting someone missing.
Time will be your ally in moments like this, and as fast as you can report your loved one as a missing person will be better to take action.
Now, take time to process all the information that we provide you for future emergencies. And If you are in a similar situation, we are truly sorry and hope this guide works as a guideline for you and your close ones.
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