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How to Find a Missing Person – 7 Essential Steps

You saw them the other day, and all of a sudden, you’ve lost all contact with them. This, not knowing where your friend or a family member has gone, is justifiably most people’s biggest nightmare. Feelings of distress, panic, and concern are all expected in this dire situation. However, it is important to try to keep a level head and do everything in your power to bring that person back into your life. The actions you take after realizing someone has gone off the radar may be crucial in ensuring their safety. Here are some things you can do to try to locate your missing loved one.

Get in Touch with the Police

Most people will immediately call the cops upon realizing someone has gone missing. There is no need to wait a full day before getting in touch with the authorities, especially if the person you are looking for is a minor or suffering from some sort of physical/mental illness. Make sure to provide the police with pictures of your loved one and a thorough description of their appearance, as that may not be conveyed through images alone. Tell them all about when you last saw this person and keep them updated whenever you obtain new information or clues that could help them find your loved one. Inevitably, the police may not work on your case as much as you would like them to since they have hundreds of cases to go through every day. Do not idly wait for the police to get back to you, rather, keep investigating on your own (as long as you do not get yourself in potentially dangerous situations).

Call or Visit Hospitals, Jails, and Coroners

The next step to take is to contact hospitals, jails, and unfortunately even coroners. If your loved one has been involved in an accident, they may be undergoing treatment at a medical facility. Likewise, if they committed a crime without you knowing, they could be detained at a prison. Nobody wants to assume their friend or a family member has passed, but it is still crucial to get in touch with the coroner’s office as well. On a positive note, if the coroner’s office reports that your loved one is not there, you can keep your search going with at least a little bit more hope that they are out there somewhere, and you will find them someday.

Try to Track Their Cellphone

This step only works if you have access to the missing person’s laptop or phone account. Most phones are capable of being tracked from one’s laptop, as cellphone theft has become a common occurrence. If the absentee owns Apple products, for example, you can try to find them through Find my iPhone. Launch the Find my iPhone app through the individual’s laptop or account and the whereabouts of their cell phone should be indicated on a map if the power is on. Google has a similar service, called Find my Device, if the person in question owns an Android phone. If the person’s laptop is locked with a passcode or you do not know how to log into their account, the police may be able to assist you in gaining access to it, especially if the person in question is believed to be in danger.

Stalk Their Social Media

It’s a long shot, but there is a possibility that the person you’re seeking has been active on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. Make sure to check all of their accounts. Perhaps a recent post may indicate their whereabouts. Their last login, in other words, when they were last online may also serve as a hint as to what happened to them. Even posts prior to their disappearance may provide crucial clues: were they posting suspicious status updates? Did something seem off about their behavior leading up to the incident? Anything that can help piece together the mystery can be a big step forward.

Contact The Missing Person’s Social Circle

Hopefully, even if you have no idea where your loved one has gone, someone else will. Try to get in touch with everyone who may have possibly spoken to the absentee before, or maybe even after they went missing. Again, even if none of them have an answer on the whereabouts of this person, they may have clues on where they could have gone. There is a possibility that they spoke to your loved one a day before their disappearance, and noticed something seemed off. Though friends and family of the missing person are an obvious choice, it may also be helpful to contact their workplace, doctors, the eateries they frequent, and so on. They may be able to tell you when they last saw the person in question as well.

Spread the Word

Putting up posters of the missing person with your contact information is the traditional way to go about spreading awareness of the incident, but in this day and age where everything happens online, it is important to put this information up across social media platforms as well. Make posts about this person’s disappearance on Twitter, Facebook, etc., and encourage your friends and family to share the post. Hopefully, this will lead to their friends and family sharing the post as well—reaching people that you may have never gotten in touch with. Eventually, your post may reach a larger audience than it ever would have offline. If your post happens to go viral, this may drastically speed up the process of finding your missing loved one.

Get Them Filed Under NamUs

NamUs, or the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, is a resource backed by the National Institute of Justice. Once you register your loved one under NamUs, NamUS will give information about your missing person to law enforcement, coroners, and more. This may help you get in contact with numerous institutions regarding your lost family member or friend. If your loved one is found someplace far away, NamUs databases will aid law enforcement in identifying them. Instances where a missing person is found, but nobody knows who they are, are unfortunately quite common. Without a registry in NamUs, the person you are trying to find may become a part of the many unnamed absentees. You can make sure whoever finds your loved one can contact you by providing their information to NamUs.

If All Else Fails, Consider Hiring a Private Detective

This may feel uncomfortable or be financially straining, but if you’ve reached the end of the rope and you feel like you can’t do this on your own, it may be the only option left. While the police may put your case on the back burner while they look into other cases, a private detective will devote themselves to your request and your request only. Make sure you request the services of a credible detective with an extensive history of solved cases. An experienced private detective may know how to locate your loved one better than anyone else. There are certain tactics that private investigators can use that the police cannot. For instance, a private detective can travel across the country to track down a missing person, while police are limited to a more local area and your case would have to travel to different police departments if it is on a national scale. If you feel like law enforcement has neglected your case, this is the way to go.

Look for These 15 Signs of Cheating That Most People Miss

Being in a relationship is possibly the most vulnerable situation that you could put yourself in. To be fully faithful and in love with your partner is a goal that every couple should strive for. Unfortunately, even if you are completely faithful there is always a chance that your partner could be tempted or misguided and cheating behind your back. Are you worried that your partner may be cheating on you? Do you want to know the signs of a cheating wife and the signs of a cheating husband?

In this article, we will examine the fifteen signs of cheating that most people miss. These subtle cues may not mean anything by themselves, but the more of these signs that your partner exhibits the more you may want to have that difficult conversation.

A lowered sex drive 

It is normal for relationships to start with high amounts of sexual intimacy then taper off. However, has your partner recently rarely initiated sex? Does he always seem tired and not in the mood? Perhaps his excuses of being tired are true, or perhaps he is having his sexual appetite fulfilled somewhere else. If your partner does not seem to be in the mood, then we highly suggest that you initiate a conversation as to why. Even if your partner is not cheating, a healthy sex life is an important pillar for almost every relationship.

Technology Issues 

Has your partner been answering his phone less and less? If you guys usually share location with each other, does his/her location turn off at inopportune times? Individually, these signs do not indicate a cheating spouse, but you should always trust your gut when it comes to cheating and infidelity. You should pay special attention if there are sharp behavioral changes right when you suspect he is cheating. Does he always clear his browser history when he used to be very open with his internet usage? Has he/she stopped uploading his pictures to your shared cloud? This could all be because he/she is trying his hardest to conceal the fact that they are cheating.

Money Issues 

A cheating spouse usually always leaves a paper trail. Have you noticed any suspicious payments on your shared bank account? Or have you noticed that your partner rarely has money for date nights? This sign of cheating is especially poignant if he used to lavishly spend, but now they are more restrictive with their spending. This could be because they are now balancing a budget for two or more partners.

Indifference 

Indifference is one of the hardest signs of cheating to define, but the easiest to feel. If your spouse has a sudden drop in expressiveness and affection, it could be a sign he’s cheating or she’s cheating. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell whether the drop in affection stems from cheating, depression, or external factors. However, does your spouse seem to be in a great mood whenever he leaves the home and lazy and apathetic when he spends time with you? At the very least, you need to have a conversation with your partner to understand why they are being indifferent to you. If they are not cheating, they may eventually if they are continually bored and unsatisfied in a relationship.

Words of Affection 

Some cheaters may have the audacity to cheat but may not have the confidence to lie to you. These cheaters may feel guilty whenever they tell you that they love or that they are faithful to you. If your partner is usually very verbose and expressive, be wary when the words of affection begin to stop. Has it been a long time since your spouse told you that they love you? Perhaps it is because they know that they no longer don’t, and they are taking matters into their own hands.

Getting Caught in Lies 

To some, this sign of cheating may seem obvious. However, if your spouse is very charismatic they may be able to talk his way out of any situation. Did your partner initially tell you that they were at the office when you found out that he/she was actually at the bar? When you confronted them did they act as if YOU were the one who was overreacting? Does he/she sometimes deny telling a lie after they have been caught in it? If they are always misplacing their phone and getting dates mixed up, perhaps he/she really is your lovable goofball. If they conveniently seem to be telling you false information when they need to, it could be because he/she is doing it for a reason. Lying in a relationship is always a symptom of a larger problem, and the problem could be that he/she is being unfaithful.

Your Spouse is Dressing Nicer 

This is one of the weaker signs of cheating on this list but could be something to pay attention to. If they have been making a conscious effort to fix their overall persona, then it could be something you don’t need to pay attention to. However, if they never dress up for you and leave at awkward hours of the night dressed to the nines, he/she may be cheating.

Your Spouse Has Wandering Eyes 

Do you notice that your spouse is checking out others right in front of you? To some extent, you are unable to control exactly what you notice when you are in public. Still, if your partner seems increasingly interested in the opposite sex as they are in public, perhaps it is because they are.

Longer Hours at Work 

Does your spouse claim that they are always forced to work late hours? Do they seem to not mind the increase in working hours? If you couple this sign of cheating with sign #3 (money issues) then there could be a real discrepancy. If they are constantly working overtime and still have money problems, it could be time to call the office and see if he/she is actually there.

Surprise Guests

Did you ever come home early to find your spouse with someone who you suspect they are cheating on you with? Was it a complete surprise? Did they seem flustered? Are they the most oblivious angel that does not have eyes for anyone other than you? If not, they were cheating on you. They may deny it profusely, but they were cheating on you. You are better off spending that time finding a new partner rather than listening to their excuses.

A Surprise STD

Have you gotten a surprise STD and have been faithful to your partner? Yes, it is possible to contract an STD without sexual intercourse, but the odds of that are very unlikely. If you contract an STD and your partner exhibits signs of cheating, it may be time to stop listening to his/her excuses.

A New Hobby

Do you notice signs of cheating after your spouse has picked up a new hobby? Does the hobby entail meeting up with others and spending more and more time away from the house? Individually, this sign may be harmless. In fact, you should support and encourage your spouse to have hobbies and interests outside of the relationship. But if the hours spent away from home start getting ridiculous, and they show other signs of cheating perhaps it is a front for something or someone else.

Easier to Agitate

Does your partner seem easier to annoy? Does their mind seem to be elsewhere even if they are physically with you? Does he/she not want to address any of the problems in the relationship? It could be because he/she is already checked out of the relationship and is just looking forward to leaving the house. Even if they do not want to have any tough conversations, they are critical to understanding what is wrong. Even if they are not cheating, if they are constantly irritated with you it may be a sign that you two are not the best partners for each other.

Attempted Breakups

Have they brought up ‘breaks’ or ‘breakups’? Perhaps it is because they wanted to leave you for someone else. In some cases, it is best to fight through the problems in a relationship, but if you are pressuring them to stay in the relationship they may feel justified in cheating. As the old saying goes, if you love something, let it go. If it returns to you, it’s yours. If they do not, it never was.

Something Feels Wrong

 There is no one who knows your relationship better than you. Some cheaters can hide their signs of cheating so well that they exhibit none of the signs on this list. Even still, if you feel as though something is not adding up, don’t dismiss that gut feeling. We provide general signs of cheating, but everything should be taken on a case by case basis. If you think that your partner may be cheating, even if it seems far-fetched, it doesn’t hurt to mention it and get rid of that feeling.

How Much Does a Private Investigator Cost?

Hiring a private investigator (PI) can be a daunting task especially if you have never done so. If you have only been exposed to private investigators through movies and TV shows, you may have an incorrect view of what a PI actually does. Contrary to popular belief, they do not walk around in a trench coat while carrying a magnifying glass. Instead, private investigators can be indispensable in terms of acquiring information for personal and legal reasons. In this article, we will be delving into the scope of how a private investigator can help you, what the cost of services are, and the usual method of payment. As with most occupations, the experience and results an investigator promises can drastically affect the price.

Before diving into the many services offered by a PI, you should be prepared to have an initial consultation. These meetings help outline exactly what you are expecting from the other party and if both parties feel comfortable working together. The vast majority of PI’s will offer a free consultation, but high-end investigators may charge for the first meeting. It may be tempting to hire an expensive PI without consultation, but initially spending a little bit of money to avoid a large mishap is usually the advisable decision. Your PI will be privy to sensitive information and have responsibilities that could alter your relationships and life for good. For that reason, it is important to assess the PI critically in every encounter.

The exact price you can expect to pay is largely dependent on the scope of the task that you are giving them. When you ask for a more difficult task, you are taking more of the private investigator’s time. A PI usually prices tasks in two ways: Either you are charged a flat fee for the task or you are charged an hourly fee. Most PI’s charge by the hour, but even if you are given a cost estimate that is a flat rate, they have likely factored in the difficulty of the assignment and have charged you accordingly. Therefore, if you want to be cost-effective it’s important to be fully aware of the exact outcome that you want before seeking out the services of a private investigator.

There is a myriad of different services that you can get from a PI but the most popular are:

  • Locating a loved one
  • Finding incriminating evidence of your partner being unfaithful
  • Gather or obtain information to help you build a legal case against someone
  • Sweep your workplace and home to see if you are being watched
  • Find and uncover someone’s social media presence

Some of these tasks are quite straightforward and can be done in a single day. For example, sweeping your home to make sure there aren’t any bugs will probably take a few hours at most. Sweeping is a type of tasks that the PI can charge a flat fee for. Complex tasks that require stake-outs or have ambiguous timelines, like discovering if your partner is being unfaithful, will be less likely to have a flat fee. Some private investigators also charge extra for additional services like confronting the cheater or taking pictures of your unfaithful partner for evidence.

PI’s can also ask for a retainer before they begin their task. A retainer is essentially a fee that is paid before the task is started. When you are renting a house, usually the landlord asks for a down payment on the off-chance that you leave the house in a worse condition than it was initially. A retainer functions in a similar way. The PI usually asks for a small retainer that is then used towards the full price of what the PI is charging. If the task is completed early or the costs that were anticipated never were realized, the PI often returns the portion of the retainer that was never used. Essentially, it is a small way of making the PI’s feel at ease that they are going to be monetarily compensated. This allows them to focus on the task at hand and deliver as soon as they can.

The cost for an investigator varies but a typical contract to hire a PI includes the following:

  1. An hourly fee depending on the length of the contract
  2. Compensation to cover travel costs or hotel stay
  3. Compensation to rent necessary equipment like a GPS tracker
  4. Extra charges for photographic evidence

With all that taken into account, the current market rate for a PI is $50 to $75 per hour. It’s important to note that geography, demand, and experience can all play a factor. Spending an hour sweeping a house may be cheaper than several hours following an individual throughout the day as they go about their errands. The regulatory rules for who can be a PI are also quite diverse. In some states, there are several licenses that you have to obtain before being allowed to legally declare yourself a PI. In other states, all you need is a business license to call yourself a PI. A PI having a private investigator license in a state that doesn’t require one can be a sign that the PI goes above and beyond to make clients feel comfortable. All of these variables can raise or lower the costs outside of that projected price range.

Hiring a cheap PI has one obvious advantage: You get to save money and get similar services. However, this can have disastrous effects. Commissioning a cheap mechanic could leave your vehicle in a worse state than when you brought it in. Hiring an amateur private investigator can cause similar outcomes. Private investigation is a profession that requires professional discreteness and experience with varying difficulties of problem-solving. If you are looking to have a PI solve a difficult problem, especially if it’s a problem that concerns your loved ones, it is highly suggested that you do your research and pay the fair market rate. Just like in almost all things in life, you get what you pay for.