Resources for Families of Missing Persons

A resource for non-profits and families worldwide

We’re passionate about supporting families and communities who are effected by the phenomenon of missing persons in the United States and throughout the world. In addition to providing comprehensive, diligent missing person services to families in crisis, we are also dedicated to facilitating a network of support for families by connecting them with the best non-profit organizations and pro-bono services available for missing person investigations.

Missing Persons Resources



NamUs is a free online system that can be searched by medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials and the general public from all over the country in hopes of resolving these cases.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The leading nonprofit organization in the U.S. working with law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children.

Black & Missing

Black & Missing

Established as a non-profit organization to bring awareness to missing persons of color, provide vital resources for their family and friends, and educate the minority community on personal safety.

The Jason Project

The Jason Project

The Jason Project An organization that seeks to bring hope and assistance to families of the missing by providing resources and support.

The Parents of Murdered Children

The Parents of Murdered Children

Parents of Murdered Children Support network for families.

Polly Klass

Polly Klass

A national nonprofit that helps find missing children, prevents children from going missing, and promotes laws like Amber Alert that help keep children safe.

Operation Lookout

Operation Lookout

The first priority and ultimate objective of the organization is to bring about a positive reunion of children with their loved ones.

Doe Network

Doe Network

A volunteer organization devoted to assisting Law Enforcement in solving cold cases concerning unexplained disappearances and unidentified victims from North America, Australia and Europe.

CUE Center for Missing Persons

Cue Center for Missing Persons

CUE provides a variety of services including: posters, printing, search/recovery resources, bulk mailings, personal needs for families of the missing and more.

Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children

Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children

The Laura Recovery Center exists to prevent abductions and runaways and to recover missing children by fostering trust among law enforcement, community and a missing child’s family.



Texas EquuSearch is a search and rescue organization dedicated to searching for missing persons, working with families, and working through local law enforcement agencies.

The International Commission on Missing Persons

The International Commission on Missing Persons

A treaty-based international organization with Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration and other causes and to assist them in doing so.

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

Through their FamilyLinks website they help track people who are missing after a natural disaster or displaced by war to re-unite with their families.



Involved in missing person cases through the maintenance of an International Missing Persons Database

Be United Missing Persons

Be United Missing Persons

Non-Profit charitable organization to assist law enforcement and helping the families of the lost and missing. They never charge a fee for services and are dependent upon public donations.  

Helpful Videos

How to Setup a Go Fund Me
for Missing Love one

What to Do When a Person Goes Missing:
The First 72 Hours

How to Protect Yourself While Running

Helpful Articles

Indiana True Crime Podcast Episodes For Your Commute

True crime fans are some of the most voracious in media—always looking for the newest documentary, series, or podcast to devour on their commutes, during work, or while relaxing at home. While the North East and the West Coast have had the majority of media exposure...

Top 5 Language Apps for International Missing Person Investigators

When a loved one goes missing abroad, no stone can be left unturned. That’s why many families opt to have an independent investigator conduct a concurrent investigation with law enforcement after filing a missing person report. International missing person...

Missing Persons: How to Set Up a GoFundMe Campaign

The development of crowd-funding platforms such as GoFundMe has elevated an individual’s ability to see their financial goals realized. Whether the goal is retaining support for a passion project, or simply garnering a smaller sum to pull through a financial crisis or...

How PIs Find Missing Persons

Private investigators use a wide variety of tools and experience to find missing persons. As of April 30, 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), reported a total of 86,927 missing persons in the United States. Though this number fluctuates month to month,...

Fast Facts on Missing Children

Americans are captivated by missing child stories, haunted by the nagging specter of "What if this happened to my child?" The year 2018 was punctuated by a handful of missing child cases that were covered by mainstream media, including Jayme Closs, Mollie Tibbetts,...

How to Write a Press Release

When you are in the midst of a traumatic experience, it’s hard to look beyond the immediate crisis. When a loved one goes missing, it’s hard to think about issuing a press release and why it may be so important to learn in the initial days folmlowing the missing...

Missing in Paradise

Couple vanishes while on vacation in Dominican Republic Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle vanished while on a tropical vacation in the Dominican Republic. A romantic trip to the Caribbean sounds just like what the doctor ordered as the warmer weather approaches....

Missing Children: Infant Abductions

There are many different types of missing persons—adults with mental illness, homeless individuals, children, and runaways. Each type of case deserves to be treated with a special approach, with careful regard given to the circumstances of each case. Perhaps the type...

How to Create a Missing Person Flyer

A missing person poster can be our first awareness of a famous missing person case. When we see missing person cases in the news, we become fascinated on an exponential scale. This includes media coverage, their missing persons flyer, or podcasts about their...

10 Steps to Take When

A Loved One Goes Missing


Contact authorities 

Making a police report is the first and most vital step in initiating a search for a missing person. Filing a police report ensures local law enforcement is alerted to the disappearance and can assess the situation to determine if the person may be in danger and if an investigation needs to be conducted.




Keep a log 

Keeping a log with the full names and contact information of all people you talk to is important in maintaining good communication with everyone involved in the search for the missing person and staying organized. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when making numerous phone calls, sending emails, etc.




Contact family & friends

Many times, a simple lack of communication can occur, and a missing person can be found by contacting family, friends, and coworkers. Even after making a missing person report to police, be sure to reach out to others to find out if they have seen the individual or told where the person may be going.




Check social networks

Social networks like Facebook can be integral to the search for a missing person from the moment the person is missing to an ongoing search if necessary. Look at the missing person’s social media pages for their last posts, any information about their plans and even state of mind. Look to see if they received any harassing or strange communications from others.




Contact jails, shelters,
hospitals, AND morgues

It is important to remain cognizant of law enforcement’s limitations when searching for a missing person, especially adults as they have a right to go missing if they so choose. As difficult as it can be, it is necessary to contact hospitals and morgues to see if the individual is injured in the hospital or unidentified in a morgue. This can be a very difficult task and you may want to ask a friend or family member to help make the calls.




Register person with missing person nonprofits/databases

If you are searching for a missing child, call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) as soon as possible.For families searching for someone with mental illness, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides resources for families. Contact the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS) at or 




Create a missing person flyer

Make a one-page flyer of the missing person.
The flyer should contain the following:
Preferably two current photographs of the missing person; Full name; Height; Weight; Age; Photo of vehicle and license plate; Place last seen; and Phone number of investigating law enforcement.

*NOTE: It is recommended you never place your own phone number or contact information on a missing person flyer. First, it is very important calls are handled by a professional so as not to compromise an investigation. Second, many times families will receive cruel, harassing, and misleading calls from the public and it is very important to protect yourself and your family by buffering these calls.




Create a social media page

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social network sites can be instrumental when searching for a missing loved one, especially if they are not found immediately. With any missing person case, it is important to maintain awareness and keep the public engaged in the search.

• Create a site with an engaging name like “Find Jane Doe” or “Missing Jane Smith”. This will help bring your page up in Google and related search results.
• Post recent pictures and include specific descriptive information to include the clothing they were last wearing, jewelry, glasses, tattoos, scars, etc.
• Upload a video and make a personal public appeal.
• Make sure to provide the investigating law enforcement agency’s number and encourage people to call them directly with information and leads.




Alert local newspapers

Getting local media to assist can sometimes be difficult. News stations are not likely to cover a missing person story unless it comes from law enforcement. It is much easier if law enforcement puts out a press release indicating a person is in danger. Speak to the detectives and ask if they will issue a press release.




Hire a private investigator

When is it time to hire a private investigator? There is no easy answer, but it is encouraged to consult with one early on, especially if the person has not returned home within a few days. Because there is only so much law enforcement can do, at times finding the missing person requires additional assistance, both professional and specialized.



Additional Resources 

Resources for Parents/Families

Keeping Children Safe

Since you can’t always be with your kids, it’s important to teach them how to find help and keep themselves safe. Most importantly, you need to do this in a way that doesn’t scare yourself or your children. Instead, you want to build your children’s self-confidence. Your kids will feel safer when they can confidently recognize dangerous situations and respond immediately.



The myth about runaways is that they made the decision to go and will come home when they want to. The truth is that kids aren’t safe by themselves on the streets. In fact, runaway youth are more likely to become victims of abduction and sex trafficking. No child is prepared for life on the streets.


Human Trafficking

A staggering 85% of PKF’s missing children cases are considered endangered runaways and if the current statistic holds true that it is likely that one and five runaways will become victims of trafficking, then we are working on the frontlines of the trafficking of minors’ epidemic in the United States. PKF is committed to helping to recover these children and providing them with resources to return home when appropriate, or guide them to resources that can help these most vulnerable children.


Preventing Family Abduction

You may not realize that each year over 200,000 children are kidnapped by a family member. The good news is that family abductions can often be prevented. The following information can help you keep your children safe.


International Family Abduction

Sometimes a family abductor will take the child out of the United States. For the most accurate and up-do-date information on international child abductions and the policies of specific countries, the Polly Klaas Foundation recommends the following resources.


Internet Safety

Most people kids meet online are fine. Some are predators. The greatest risk is that a predator will develop a relationship with a child (called “grooming”) and the child will go to meet this person they believe is their “friend.” The Polly Klaas Foundation’s FREE Child Safety Kit (which includes Internet Safety information) will help parents keep children safer online and will help you open communications about the Internet with your children.


Sex Offender Information

All states require that sex offenders register their addresses and that certain information about them be made available to the public for free. It is important to know who is living in your neighborhood, but it’s just as important to teach your children the safety rules so that they can learn to recognize and avoid danger.


Resources for Law Enforcement

It is you, the Law Enforcement professional, who ultimately brings a missing child home. The following resources will help you with your investigations and training needs.


Resources for Media

The Polly Klaas Foundation has understood the special need for the media’s involvement when there is a missing child in our community since our inception. As a part of the solution, you are invited to share and link to our information (please attribute the source to us and provide links for your readers) and to contact us at any time.