View Full Version : Would this be two separate police cases or one?

04-16-2015, 12:13 PM
Does anyone know the answer to this one? I've done a Google search but it's a complicated thing to type into a search and I wasn't sure how to break it down!

In the UK, if there is a search going on for a missing person, presumed dead, and remains are found but those remains turn out not to be the missing person, does the original detective team continue to work on this new case or do they hand it over to a new team and continue with their original missing person?

Or would they continue to work on both the murder and missing case until they could prove the two weren't connected before handing the murder over to someone else?

Hope that makes sense! :) Thanks!

04-16-2015, 02:46 PM
You can probably ask the police where you're setting the story. There's web addresses on all of the police cars around where I live, and at least some other places too. South Yorkshire Police is on Facebook and Twitter too, your local police is most likely too. I suggest asking them directly.

T Robinson
04-16-2015, 11:35 PM
Nothing you said indicated murder. Probability, yes. Not sure of procedure in the UK, but any unattended death should get an investigation and be treated as a crime scene. That said, the ones looking for the missing person, unless it is a very small department, would not be the ones investigating a potential homicide.

Totally different skill set and focus.

04-16-2015, 11:42 PM
Team A is looking for John Doe. They find remains that turn out to be Jane Smith. Team A is still looking for John Doe. They'll turn over the Jane Smith remains to Team B. Depending on the department, these might be two Homicide teams, or one Missing Persons team (A) and one Homicide team (B). They'll stay in touch with each other though, to make sure the cases aren't connected. But they'll work the cases separately, until and unless they are found to be connected.

04-17-2015, 03:43 AM
This is almost certainly dependent on the procedures of the individual law enforcement agency involved, and their personnel situation. It's not unusual for detective teams to work multiple cases. They wouldn't necessarily turn the second situation over to a new team. But they probably would be considered separate cases, until some connection got made.

As for communication between separate teams of investigators, that too may well vary from agency to agency. Police departments are not famed for their communication skills, even internally. Things like professional competition and individual relationships come into play. Along with occasional sheer incompetence.


04-19-2015, 09:10 PM
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all the responses. It's really interesting - I'll have to get in touch with the local police and see if they can help. I'm hoping it's as Cmhbob said, but given what I already know of large public sector organisations, I'm sure it's more messier and complicated!
And so true, Blacbird, doesn't matter what the procedures are, communication skills and individual personalities will always find a way of changing them to some extent.
Thanks guys :)