Lauth Process

Our investigators are here for your family 

Missing Persons Investigation

Our disciplined and diligent approach to missing person cases comes in two phases. At each step of the process, our missing person investigators work closely with families, to keep them abreast of the investigation and to develop the best strategy for moving forward. 

Phase One

Physical Search Site Logistics:

Develop integrating zone fields to include area buildings, community interest points, and areas conducive to the missing person’s last two weeks of behavior, psychological demeanor at time of disappearance, and psychological profile from teen years to present. Any medical and psychological records are to be provided by client. Further, this search will provide a basis for flyer distribution in these areas to develop public awareness for their assistance.

Theory development:

Review client information and conduct a biographical analysis and build theories based on information gathered through phase one. Possible theories may include but not limited too: missing because of foul play, homeless due to schizophrenia or other mental illness, victim of domestic abuse, drug addiction, or alcoholism, and “maliciously missing” on their own accord. In cases where there are suspicions of foul play, it is imperative that the intervention be expedient.

Logistics development:

Analyze areas of interest based on urban or rural demographics of where the missing could potentially be located, deceased or alive based on various evidence such as cell record pings, witnesses, cameras, etc.

Flyer Creation/Social Media:

Work with our internal graphic designer to develop a flyer substantially more engaging to the public eye by using various photos provided by the client and list of identifiers for noting physical build, eye color, hair etc. Execute a widespread social media sharing of the missing persons information to broaden the advocacy work needed for the case.

Create Missing Person Comprehensive Data Sheets:

This data will assist in the field investigation by compiling and detailing the missing person’s identifying data, a tracing sheet of attachments to include personal information including financial, legal, medical, community, education and employment, vehicle and driver information, utilities, and communications.

Family Debriefings:

Continue ongoing family discussion about the case in attempt to gain continued knowledge of the missing. Also, talk with local police to determine their assistance or involvement in the case.

Cost Estimate:

Based on the information given we will create a cost estimate to include expenses and labor for the Phase 2 investigation. This will include labor, expenses such as hotel, vehicle, meals, and flight to the focused area derived from the Phase 1 investigation.

Phase Two

Travel, Uncover Leads, Recover and Reunite

Phase 2 Investigation is the Travel Phase following Phase One completion. The investigation should uncover a confirmed or general address or area that requires investigation. At that time, the client may choose to proceed with Phase Two investigation. Phase Two involves traveling to the site area based on findings from Phase One. 

The Following May Be Conducted:

  • Locating and interviewing witnesses.
  • Interacting and working collaboratively with non-profits, Government Social Service Agencies, Law Enforcement, and the Local Community.
  • Conducting Press Releases and assisting as a Media Liaison for the family with individuals with over 25 years experience working with local and national media.
  • Searching intensively for additional testimonies, physical or circumstantial evidence of the disappearance or foul play.

Missing Person Private Investigation Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an independent missing person investigation cost?

Some private investigators invoice their clients on billable hours and expenses. At Lauth, we charge only flat fees to find your missing loved one. We work from a flat retainer, incentivizing us to find your missing loved one as efficiently and swiftly as possible. Phase one is a flat fee and phase two we charge by the day. Because we work on your case in consistent days to find your missing loved one.

At what point do I hire a private investigator for a missing person investigation?

When a loved one goes missing, it is best to contact authorities and file a missing person report. However, many families are finding that hiring a private investigator from the onset of the investigation can drastically increase the likelihood of the person being found.

Families often hire private investigators to conduct an investigation in tandem with law enforcement. Having a second set of experienced eyes on the case means that leads law enforcement might otherwise ignore or miss can be explored, meaning that no lead will be unexplored. Due to the nature of missing person investigations, it is recommended that families retain a private investigator as soon as possible after the initial report is made. An experienced missing person investigator can act as a spokesperson for the family to the media and law enforcement and missing person advocacy groups as well an expert in missing person investigations. Its important to understand that other experts may be needed as well.

Where do you conduct the missing person investigation?

Private investigators use a litany of factors to determine areas of interest for a missing person investigator, including, time, place, and circumstances of last reported sighting. Private investigators build background profiles on the missing person and subsequently use their relevant recent history to develop leads in their disappearance.  

Why can’t the police conduct my missing person investigation?

Don’t be surprised that most law enforcement agencies will not take your missing persons report. Police departments in certain parts of the country are not always equipped to handle missing person cases, due to a myriad of factors. Further, law enforcement may only focus on missing children and at-risk adults. While some police departments have investigators who handle 30-40 cases at a time, private investigators only handle between 3-4 cases at any given time, meaning a missing person case can get the attention it deserves.

Why won’t the media pay attention to my missing person investigation?

The mainstream media tends to favor a type of case—namely the cases of missing white women younger 30 years of age. These are the cases that have been identified as having the greatest level of public interest, and thereby will garner more viewership for any particular outlet. This phenomenon is called “Missing White Woman Syndrome.” Media exposure can also be impacted by other factors, such as political coverage, health crisis coverage, or disaster coverage.

What is the purpose or advantage to retaining an independent missing person investigator?

Private investigators have similar skills and experience to law enforcement, but are independent from the jurisdictional and bureaucratic issues that stall case progression. They have access to verified databases by virtue of their licensure by the state similar to the databases law enforcement use to find missing person.

What are the chances you will find my missing person during your independent investigation?

There is no guarantee in any investigation—however, the investigators at Lauth have been working with families in crisis for over 30 years, and are aware of how the unanswered questions in missing persons cases can devastate loved ones. We are dedicated to providing your family with the answers they deserve, and that means leaving no stone unturned.

What are the risks involved of hiring a independent missing persons investigator? Will law enforcement stop working on my case?

Law enforcement will not stop working on your missing persons case if you hire a private investigator to conduct a concurrent investigation. When it comes to hiring a private investigator, it is incumbent on the family to do some detailed research on the private investigators available to them and review testimonials from other families.

 We dedicated to bringing solutions to citizens in their time of crisis

The Lauth Investigations International Missing Persons team has over 40 years combined experience working closely with families of endangered, at-risk missing persons. Our team collaborates closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement, missing persons organizations nationwide, and with national media. So why choose Lauth?

Why choose Lauth? Our missing persons team of experts for recovering and reuniting missing children and missing adults is one of the most successful in the industry. Our team of experts are not skip tracers, but field experts that rely on field intelligence techniques working with various OSINT and HUMINT resources. Your missing family member will become our priority as soon as your case is assigned to our team. Every case is unique based on the circumstances of the disappearance and we are dedicated to using our diverse body of experience and our licensed, verified database resources, and applying proven methodology in the interest of finding your missing loved one.

Our CEO and Founder Thomas Lauth is nationally recognized as a Missing Persons and Human Trafficking Investigator. Lauth is considered an expert in missing persons by national media and has appeared in publications like Essence Magazine, Los Angeles Daily News and more.

We are results-oriented and charge only flat fees for casework conducted worldwide. We are passionate about bringing answers to families in crisis.

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Missing Persons Bio Information Form


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