Every year, nearly a million people in the U.S. are reported missing nationwide. In 2008 alone, nearly 800,000 new reports were filed, and this does not include the additional 100,000 “active” cases from previous years. Given that federal law only requires police to accept reports of missing minors, these statistics may be grossly distorted.
Since 1975, the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) has kept records of missing people searches in its missing person’s database. The federal database contains data on crime-related missing persons – individuals believed to have come to harm’s way, or to be fleeing justice.
More recently, in 2007, the U.S. Justice Department implemented the final phase of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS). NAMUS compares information held in the missing person’s database and the national morgues database. This represents a significant step forward, further assisting family of missing people to explore as many avenues as possible to find out the whereabouts of their loved ones, and in some cases to allow closure.
Despite the advances in criminal technology, and database tracking, one can only imagine that there are thousands upon thousands of individuals who are missing and who are not being tracked in the federal missing persons database– either because the police did not accept the report of the missing adult, or the case did not involve criminal wrong-doing.
And similarly, there must be thousands upon thousands of individuals searching to locate people ‘missing’ in their lives, such as a birth parent or long-lost friend or old classmates.
Today, there are a growing number of ‘alternative’ private services, such as Peoplesearches.com, which offers online private people searches and criminal investigations of people deemed suspicious.
If you visit their website, you can trial-run for yourself. I typed in my own name, only to be that nationwide there are three of us. If I wish to access personal details and other records in detail, then this is an option, at a fee of course. Such searches can be conducted with the details you have, and if you only have a last name to go by, you can still run the search. PeopleSearches.com maintains a high-standard database containing personal data records that are updated regularly.