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If you think a person is missing, the following are actions that you can take.

Immediately contact your local law enforcement agency to report the person missing. If the person went missing somewhere else, you may contact the law enforcement agency in that area. When you contact police, tell them that you need to file a missing person’s report.

When you file a missing person’s report the police will ask you a number of questions. It would be helpful if you had the following information. Do not worry; you need not delay contacting the police if you do not have all of the information below.

Basic information about the Missing Person

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Birthplace
  • Nicknames, if any
  • Current and previous addresses. Who else lived there?
  • Current and former employers

Physical description of the Missing Person

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Build
  • Hair Colour/Length of Hair
  • Eye colour
  • Any Markings – such as tattoos, birthmarks, scars, etc.
  • Beard/Mustache/Sideburns
  • Find the most recent photo of the missing person

Habits and Personality of Missing Person

  • Does the person smoke? If yes, what brand of cigarettes? Does the person drink alcohol? If yes, what type?
  • Does the person use recreational drugs?
  • Does the person chew gum?
  • What type of recreation or activities does the person engage in including hobbies?
  • Are there novel habits that the person has? For instance, does the person have a place where they always go for coffee?
  • Does the person have particular banking habits?
  • What type of personality does the person have? Is the person outgoing or quiet? Is the person friendly or depressed?
  • What are the values and philosophy of the person?
  • Is the person religious?
  • Does the person have any emotional problems?
  • What level of education or training does the person have?
  • Does the person go to any particular areas, bars, taverns or places of interest?

Clothing that the Missing Person was wearing the last time seen

  • Style and colour of shirt
  • Style and colour of pants
  • Style and colour of jacket or outerwear
  • If applicable, type of head-wear
  • Type of glasses
  • Type of gloves
  • Type of footwear

Trip Plans of the Missing Person the day they went missing

  • What were the missing person’s plans and/or activities on the day they went missing?
  • Where were they going?
  • Why here they going there?
  • Was the person traveling by car? If so, provide the make and model number, license plate number and registration.
  • Does the person have access to any other vehicles or mode of travel?

Information about the last time the Missing Person was seen

  • The time and location of where they were last seen
  • The name of the person who last saw the missing person
  • The name of the person who last talked at length with the missing person
  • The direction the missing person was traveling the last time seen.
  • The attitude of the missing person the last time seen
  • Was the missing person concerned about anything before they went missing?

Overall health and condition of the Missing Person

  • Physical condition
  • Any known medical problems.
  • Is the person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease/dementia/memory loss? If so, are they registered on Safely Home, or similar registry? If they are registered on Safely Home or similar registry, what is their registration number? Are they wearing an identification bracelet, or carrying an identification card?
  • Any handicaps or disabilities.
  • Any psychological problems
  • Any medications that the person is taking
  • Any addictions that the person has
  • Provide the name of the missing person’s family physician and their health card number, if possible
  • Provide the name of the missing person’s main dentist, if possible.

Potential People that the person would contact

  • List all of the people who the missing person may try to contact. Try to include addresses and telephone numbers.
  • When the missing person’s report has been filed, ask the police for the missing person’s file number. As well, ask for contact information for the investigator in charge of the file.
  • Secure the personal belongings and living space of the missing person until the police provide further direction. Below is a list of items of importance.
  • Items such as a hairbrush, a toothbrush, or undergarments. Investigators may need to undertake DNA analysis.
  • Any electronic equipment such as a cell phone or computer. What is the make of phone and the cell phone provider? As well, do you know if they were active on a chat line or other social on-line network such as MSN, Facebook, etc.?
  • Any personal documents such as banking statements and credit card statements as well as all bank card information.
  • Any written material such as a journal
  • To make things more manageable, start a log or journal. Include all information about the missing person’s case in the journal.
  • The Police will likely request that there be one family contact with the police. This simplifies contact between the Police and the family. Police officers will only have to update one person about the investigation. In addition, they will know who to contact when information is needed from the family. Talk with your family and close friends about who will be the family contact. The members of your family may not want to take on this role. If so, you may decide that a close friend should be the contact person.
  • If the missing person is a child, contact Child Find. They offer a 24 hour, 7 day per week toll free phone line to handle emergency situations. They can help with investigations and ground search assistance as well as making a poster.

Actions your family can undertake

  • Conduct a telephone search. Phone friends and family that may have some idea of where the missing person is. Start with those closest to the missing person and write all of the information down in your journal.
  • If you find out any additional information from telephone inquiries pass it on to police
  • Put up flyers with a photograph of the missing person around your community. If the missing person is a child, talk to Child Find in your area about the services they provide for distributing pictures and posters.
  • Tell all necessary people about the disappearance of the missing person. This may include the missing person’s employer, their bank, and their doctor. If the missing person is a child you will need to contact the school they are attending.
  • If necessary, arrange for the payment of the missing person’s mortgage, rent or bills. You may require legal advice on how to proceed.

Actions to Undertake to Take Care of Yourself and your Family

  • Ask yourself if you need to take an extended leave from work. If you do, talk to your employer about what options might be available.
  • If you feel you need an extension on bill payments then ask about what options are available
  • Try to eat, sleep, and exercise on a regular basis. Although you may not feel that you have time it is important to take care of yourself
  • Try not to blame yourself for the disappearance of your loved one. Treat yourself with as much kindness as you can in these difficult times.
  • Try to realize your limits. Be easy on yourself if you are unable to provide what is needed in all situations. You may, for instance, be unable to provide emotional support to all of the members of your family. Don’t feel guilty about seeking counseling services to help your family deal with the wide range of emotions that are being experienced.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you have to return to work. This does not mean that you have given up on the search for your loved one.

The Missing Person’s Checklist was developed and released by the Saskatchewan Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons to provide families with a guide as to the type of information police will need when filing a missing person report. Modified and posted with permission.