Not being able to trace a loved one or friend is one of the most traumatizing experiences anyone can go through. You have no idea where to start, what happened to the person and the next steps to take. You can only pray and hope for the best that the person is found safe and sound and if not, that you can get closure and be at peace someday.
So, if you do come across a poster of a missing person on your social media, kindly help circulate it by sharing or retweeting it as one of your social media friends could have helpful information.
If a loved one or friend goes missing, here are important steps to take towards finding them:
1. Report to the nearest police station.
Most authorities will only take it up as a missing persons case after 48 hours are over. However, if you strongly feel that it’s unlikely for the person to just vanish, do report the matter to the nearest police so that they can start the investigation.
2. Call friends and family.
Sometimes, people just switch off their phones and go on a small escape when they need a break. Other times, it could be just a case of miscommunication so before you go into panic mode, confirm with friends and family to see if they have been in touch with the missing person and if they could furnish you with any details.
3. Trace the phone number.
While there are apps that can help you trace a phone number, your best bet would be to head over to the Telecom company that the missing person was subscribed to with the police report and have them trace the number and perhaps establish some details such as the last phone call, M-pesa details, location last signal was picked etc.
4. Put up hang signs.
Print out a poster with details of the missing person and have friends distribute them and hang them up around the location the person was last seen and maybe places he loves to frequent so that if anyone spots the missing person, they can call. Do ensure that you have followed the right guidelines of doing this such as having authorization from City Council lest you end up in trouble.
5. Check social media activity.
You can always check their last activity on social media especially if the missing person is an adult. You might see last location or their last activities which could help establish where they might be.
6. While still on social media,
Reach out to people via a poster with descriptive details of the missing person such as height, clothes the person was last seen wearing, last known location, phone numbers to contact, name, as well as their photo. The power of social media is unrivaled and many missing people have been found through the help of a simple retweet or a shared post on Facebook.
7. Check public hospitals, jails and morgues.
Sadly and unfortunately, you have to try and see if they could have somehow ended up in these places, if they have been missing for well over a week.
8. Hire a private investigator.
If nothing is bearing fruit and you perhaps have some money to spare, you could solicit the services of a private investigator to try and connect the dots and hopefully, bring back home your loved one.
Do remember to stay vigilant and watch your surroundings always.