Finding a Missing Person
Missing Persons Database
The National Missing Persons Database is a powerful resource that will enable not only family members of the missing person, but law enforcement, medical examiners, and other members of the justice community to enter data regarding missing persons. Although it is currently in its infancy, the system currently provides links and contact information to authorities on both and state and local level for all 50 states.
What To Do / What Steps To Take
If you have a missing loved one with serious mental illness, the following steps and information may be helpful:
Notify your local police immediately of your missing loved one and provide them with all the information you can. If the person remains missing more than three (3) days, ask the police to place them on the FBI’s National Computer (NCIC) list as an “endangered adult”. This computer network provides information nationwide. The network will give you a police number to use when searching for your relative.
When missing persons with mental illness over age 21 are located, the police and other agencies cannot hold or ask that they be held against their will if they have not committed a crime. No one has the authority to force the person to seek aid or medical care against his or her will unless there is a medical guardianship or court order specifying what action to take when the individual is found.
Prepare a one-page flyer which includes a picture of the missing person, along with his or her vital statistics (age, height, weight, hair color, eye color, clothes last seen wearing, last known location, etc.).
See the SFPD Missing Person’s Unit for more information.