kidnapping investigation

There are few thoughts more terrifying than that of a child or loved one failing to return home at the end of the school or working day. While kidnapping statistics in the United States aren’t made public, recent cases such as that of Elizabeth Thomas and Ethan Gilman plant this threat in the minds of concerned citizens. Happily, both of these victims were thankfully rescued, but not all are so lucky—which makes the swift execution of a kidnapping investigation all the more crucial. If you are personally invested in the search, there are certainly things that you can do to support and aid a private investigator, so that they can follow hot on the heels of the kidnappers.

Before we get into how you can add momentum to the process of bringing your loved one back safely, let’s first look at where to turn for effective missing persons investigations. Hiring a private investigator for kidnapping cases is not as simple as calling the first PI in your local directory. Missing person cases—and specifically kidnapping cases—call for a unique skillset. The investigator selected should be fully licensed and versed in many of the same tactics used by law enforcement, such as digital forensics, witness examination, surveillance, background checks, and crime scene investigation. Don’t settle for an under-qualified PI for the task of assuring your loved ones wellbeing.

Provide an In-Depth Description of the Kidnapped Person

Every detail, large or small, can help in a kidnapping investigation—and time is of the essence, so don’t hesitate to share. A private investigator for kidnapping cases will begin with the basics before moving on to more complex profiling. Prepare to provide them with the victim’s:

  • Full name
  • Age and date of birth
  • Recent photograph(s)
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Hair color
  • Eye color
  • Distinguishing features such as tattoos and scars
  • Current and past addresses
  • Phone number(s)
  • Birth certificate
  • Driver’s license
  • Employee or student ID
  • Social media profiles

Building Out the Profile of a Victim

If the identity of the kidnappers is unknown, the private investigator will make quick work of profiling their life and recent movements. You can support them in this endeavor by making a list of everyone in their life—whatever their role might be. This will include family members, friends, roommates, colleagues, associates, classmates, and neighbors. You can also detail daily habits and the places that the victim frequents, such as education centers, sports centers, heath centers, social meeting places, and members’ clubs. 

Any opportunity to pick up a thread of connection could lead to the unraveling of the case and the location of your loved one. If you pursue your own investigations or receive direct or suspicious contact, notify all parties conducting a kidnapping investigation directly and immediately—including law enforcement and independent investigators. In turn, a private investigator for kidnapping cases will always keep clients fully informed at every step of their search.

The Value of a Private Investigator for Kidnapping Cases

While law enforcement often take the lead on missing person cases of this nature, their resources may be limited, or—painfully for those trying to find a loved one—they may not take the case as seriously as you feel they should. A private investigator hired to conduct a kidnapping investigation will be able to pour every necessary resource into the hunt, and acts entirely on behalf of the client while observing the laws that apply to their work. They may collaborate with the police or pick up where they left off, but will answer to you rather than higher powers.

Licensed private investigators can search many of the same databases used by police investigators, request local CCTV footage, examine witnesses, and follow leads across state lines and international borders. Members of the missing persons team here at Lauth Investigations have backgrounds that include work in law enforcement and security, providing the necessary skills to navigate potentially dangerous investigations in which the perpetrators don’t follow normal moral codes. If you require help from a specialized private investigator for kidnapping cases, our compassionate and dedicated team are ready to take on the challenge immediately. Contact us today to learn how we can assist.