View Full Version : Locating a suspect

10-27-2016, 02:15 AM
A homicide occurs at a summer theatre in upstate NY -- very small town with no local police force; county sheriff's department investigating.

Pretty much all the employees who were present at the time of death, most of whom live in summer housing on the premises, are available for questioning by the time the cops arrive, with two exceptions.

One of them I have covered.

The other: An actor "called in sick" that morning and left, to fly to California, most likely from the Albany airport.

Say his flight left early afternoon, and it's mid-evening by the time anyone realizes he isn't in his room. None of the coworkers have any idea where he has gone.

He may own a car or he may have gotten to the airport by some other means.

He may have booked the flight under his legal name, whereas everyone at the theatre knows him by his stage name.

Coworkers and police can call his cell phone, but assuming he doesn't answer...

How long would it take for the police to find him?

They might check with flights from nearby airports, but would they be likely to identify him if they don't know the name he flew under?

If he does have a car and they're searching for it, would they be likely to find it in an airport parking lot?

King Neptune
10-27-2016, 02:23 AM
With all of that to work with, they should be waiting for him when he gets off the airliner. Whether the car was his or a rental; it should be found in the parking lot, and there are only so many airlines that have flights out of Albany, and they can check under both names. It's a limited piece of time, so they can also check surveillance videos.

10-27-2016, 02:36 AM
But they don't know that he flew somewhere. They would also need to check out all the other places he could have driven to. Most likely NYC, where his permanent home is, but he could be almost anywhere in the northeast US, or in Canada, by 8-10 hours after he was last seen.

With all those possibilities, after not finding his name on any flights, would they have reason to check every car at all airports he could have driven to?

King Neptune
10-27-2016, 02:56 AM
O.K., I got the impression that it was known that he went to an airport. With all possibilities open, then it would take quite a while for him to be located, and, if he had planned in advance, then he might never be found. In 8-10 hours he could get to Montreal, Toronto, NYC, Boston, and so on. Do you want him to be found, or not? Both are possibilities.

10-27-2016, 03:27 AM
Do you want him to be found, or not?This is the important question. Do you want him found, and how quickly?

10-27-2016, 03:59 AM
I would prefer for him not to be found within the first two days. Then he will come back on his own. He is not guilty of the crime, only of malingering.

Come to think of it, he would have been on the plane at the time of the crime, so if the cops do find out where he was, they can write him off as a suspect. But they would probably still want to question him.

10-27-2016, 04:12 AM
Yeah, he's gone those two days. They can't find him that quickly if they don't know he went to the airport. They don't have the manpower to walk through car parking lots if they have no idea he flew in the first place. For all they know he drove somewhere, or he's at a friend's house. Even if they knew who he was and where he lived, warrants would take a little time (IF they even had enough evidence for one). Like, say they got into his house and found out where he banked from his mail. That's yet another warrant they'd have to serve. Would take more than a couple days.

10-27-2016, 06:48 AM
In 8-10 hours he could get to Montreal, Toronto, NYC, Boston, and so on. Do you want him to be found, or not? Both are possibilities.
Re: Montreal or Toronto
How quickly would they realise that he was missing? Would there be time to warn Customs and Border Control, on both sides, to keep an eye out for him? At least he'd be contained in the U.S.

(Have him bring a lunch. Canada Customs is ever on the alert for fruit with the potential to carry bugs into Canada. Or uncooked meat.)

10-27-2016, 07:11 AM
Are they looking for him? You're suggesting a serious level of resources to find someone immediately -- but I don't know why they want him.

Do they have reason to suspect he's the killer? If not, no one is looking that hard for him. If so, they know who he is and can involve other agencies.

10-27-2016, 07:49 AM
If he's getting paid for his acting, the business office knows his social security number. Once the police have his social security number, they can run it against records.

Airport car lots are one of the best places in the world to hide a car. It can take months for a car to show up if it's in the long-term lot.

But as Cornflake says, why does anyone want this guy? Unless he is the sole source of knowledge on a critical point in the investigation, or a suspect, no one is likely to care a whole lot. The police like to talk to everybody, but if you're not around, they're not going to get too excited, other than if you have special knowledge.

Jim Clark-Dawe

10-27-2016, 07:55 AM
From the police point of view:

There were 30-some people on the premises when the girl was killed. Most of them within each others' sight for most of the time, so the ones who were unaccounted for would be the most likely suspects.

Two of them were missing by the time the police arrived, so those would become the top 2 suspects.

W actually left mid-morning, but no one had seen him since then and everyone believed he was sick in bed, so he wasn't missed until mid-evening, at which time finding him, along with the other missing guy, would become a priority.

Along with questioning everyone who is around, physical evidence, etc.

Until they find W and question him, he would still be a suspect.

10-27-2016, 08:00 AM
Why do they think it was someone known to be on the premises? I'd think they'd just, like, wait and call and see if they can get in touch with him while they try to figure out what happened and who killed her.

A guy was here and isn't is notable but without anything but he was here and left, I don't see him as someone anyone desperately needs to find by searching car lots.

If they want him, and he's a known quantity, it shouldn't be that hard to find him. Disappearing is much harder than people tend to think. Also, I still don't know why he's a suspect.

10-27-2016, 04:52 PM
They would find him quickly, but probably not within 2 days. It still takes time to figure out who was in the building. Workplaces don't just hand out social security numbers to cops, either.

10-27-2016, 08:36 PM
If the missing guy is only one of two (out of 30?) potential witnesses, you'll need some other compelling reason for the investigating LE agency (Sheriff's Office?) to dedicate any further resources or seek assistance from other agencies in locating him. People are not that hard to find, especially when they're not trying to hide (and even sometimes when they are--but that's another story).

If you don't want him to be the actual perpetrator, give the investigators another reason to up the search ante, like he needs some rare medication that was left in his temp quarters/hotel room, etc. A BOLO based on a welfare concern is perfectly plausible.