Some parents wonder: is letting the public know about their missing child the best way to find them? The answer is, yes, it absolutely is.
In a situation such as this one, it is imperative you let as many people know about your missing child, and as soon as possible. There are a number of other crucial initial steps you need to take if this happens.
Dial 911 and provide as much information as possible
Dial 911 as soon as you suspect your child has disappeared and request a police report be filed immediately. When you call, be prepared to give your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight, any identifying features, as well as the clothes they were last seen wearing. When an officer contacts you or comes by, make sure to record their name, badge number, phone, fax, and report numbers. Also inquire as to who will follow up the initial investigation. Ask that law enforcement put out a ‘Be On the Lookout’ (BOLO) bulletin, and also ask about involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the search for your child.
Contact other police entities
After you call 911 and speak with the police, call the Sheriff’s Department, state police, and police from any adjoining jurisdictions. File reports with all of these entities, too, and record any names, badge numbers, phone, fax, and report numbers. Remember to cooperate fully.
The importance of spreading information
Getting as much information out about your missing child and on as many social media platforms as possible is extremely important. Do not underestimate the effect of spreading this kind of information on social media. The goal is to draw as much attention as possible to your missing child and the case. Time is a crucial element when locating vulnerable missing people, and the use of social media can help to support investigations and achieve great results.