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sparkypants
11-08-2010, 04:59 PM
Hi guys, hope everyone is having a nice day!

Does anyone have any info or knowledge on how things work when a person goes missing, namely in the UK. I have called the police for a missing friend once but they found him in like an hour! So I don't know anything past what happens with the police's initial search. What happens when the first response team go out and have a look round and can't find anything? When do family liaison officers get called in? What do family liaison officers do exactly and what is their presence like over the coming days - do they move in, or visit or what?

Also in terms of the family's response, do they go to work? Do they go out and help look? Would you tell everyone you knew that they were missing in the hope someone would know where they were? How often do the police update the family with what's going on? And ultimately, if it's bad news, how is that relayed?

Any help would be much appreciated, although I hope nobody has had to go through it first hand without a happy resolution.

scarletpeaches
11-08-2010, 05:39 PM
This is spooky. I just posted a request for book recommendations on this very subject in the book club forum.

I'll keep an eye on this thread. :)

sparkypants
11-08-2010, 07:11 PM
Ohh well it's only for a short, but by all means keep an eye on it! =)

Summonere
11-08-2010, 08:07 PM
I likely can't answer any of your questions since I've never been more than an observer in such cases (and in the U.S., no less), but I'll contribute anyway, since a neighbor kid vanished from around here once upon a time.

I happened to have the afternoon news on one day before heading off to work, and a local Amber Alert aired, showing the picture and name of the kid who lived mere houses away on a quiet neighborhood street, a kid who used to stop by when he was bored or had some new toy to show off. He was a good and outgoing eight-year-old kid from a wonky family. His folks were not the most attentive parents in the world, but they remained his parents nonetheless, despite a few threats by the state Department of Human Services to relieve them of such duty. But, one day, he never made it home from school.

So there I stood, a dish towel in one hand, a drippy dish in the other, surprised and saddened to see his picture on the tube, and in that context, because too many such stories don't have happy endings.

My immediate response was, What can I do to help? My second was, Nothing. The police are looking. The family is looking. And now, because of the alert, everyone else who has seen the broadcast has also seen the kid's picture. They'll be looking, too.

So I went to work. I talked to people. I asked them if they'd seen the alert and to be on the lookout for the kid.

After work, I tuned into the late-night news and saw that the kid's father, a gambling and tattooed fellow with a penchant for drugs and petty arrests, was also missing. He was going through an angry divorce with his wife.

I'd met the man on many occasions, and though I'd found him furtive and cautious, I'd not believed him to be a violent man, nor predisposed to it. But he did have a drug and arrest history, and he was going through a nasty divorce, and he and the kid both had disappeared, never to be seen again.

Well, almost. They were both discovered a day later in the cab of a tractor-trailer rig on the vast lot of the place for which the man worked. Who knows what the man had in mind, taking the kid without notice like he did, but it may be that he decided this one, the oldest of two boys, was his, and that together they'd split from the wife, whom he believed to be cheating on him. Maybe he had other ideas. Who can say. The man is now in prison. The kid is living a seemingly happy and normal life, with the aforementioned mother, elsewhere in the state.

Cathy C
11-08-2010, 08:20 PM
I have a friend who was a career Detective Inspector in London 6-7 years back. (He's now retired to ranching in Texas with his wife.) I could ask him if you don't get a more "current time" answer. :)

Kitti
11-09-2010, 07:24 AM
You might try looking at Missing Persons (http://www.amazon.com/Missing-Persons-Writers-Abducted-Howdunit/dp/089879790X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289272479&sr=8-1) from the Howdunit Series. It's - unfortunately - geared towards the US, but it might still be helpful.


Also in terms of the family's response, do they go to work? Do they go out and help look? Would you tell everyone you knew that they were missing in the hope someone would know where they were? How often do the police update the family with what's going on?

What the family does really depends on who's missing and under what circumstances. A possible runaway will be treated differently from a possible abduction. For an (incredibly depressing) example of what one family went through, check out the blog on http://findmorgan.com - the entries don't go all the way back to her abduction, but they do go back to before her body was found. For a more positive example, I think Elizabeth Smart's family has written a book about what they went through while she was missing.