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Southern_girl29
04-02-2007, 09:07 AM
In my WIP, the MC's mother is missing. She doesn't come home from work at her normal time. The other characters start to get worried. How long before the police will do anything? I mean, I've heard all my life that the police won't do anything until the person has been missing for 24 hours, but I don't know if that's true or not.

Tsu Dho Nimh
04-02-2007, 03:13 PM
Depends on age of person and indications of foul play. You will get immediate action for a toddler, but the presumption of the police is that a healthy adult went missing because they want to be missing.

They'll take the report but they won't do much beyond looking at recent Jane Does in the morgue and sending out the usual paperwork.

If the adult in question is elderly, needs medications, or there are signs of foul play like a ransacked house or her car is still at work when she is not, they will be more concerned.

triceretops
04-02-2007, 03:24 PM
The above poster is correct . It depends on the circumstances--lots of considerations. The more it looks like foul play (damning evidence left behind) the faster they jump on it.

In the case of an adult, look at the Laci Peterson case. I think they went right to work, investigating that because of the circumstances.

Pretty WASP 8-month pregnant gal goes missing on Xmas eve. You can't even make up that kind of copy.

Tri

Southern_girl29
04-03-2007, 06:58 PM
So, if the police did suspect foul play, what would they do exactly? Would they set up in the person's home? Do television coverage of it? It's a woman in her late 30s, a teacher. Her daughter is a psychic who has been on the trail of a killer.

Southern_girl29
04-03-2007, 07:01 PM
One more question. What happens if one detective believed in psychic ability and the other one didn't? Say the one who didn't responded to the call, because the other detective had a few days off. Would the non-believer be forced to believe in what they were saying because the believer had worked with them before?

Tsu Dho Nimh
04-04-2007, 12:13 AM
So, if the police did suspect foul play, what would they do exactly? Would they set up in the person's home? Do television coverage of it? It's a woman in her late 30s, a teacher. Her daughter is a psychic who has been on the trail of a killer.

Remember Chandra Levy case ...

Get a warrant or permission to inspect the house
Collect evidence at house (looking for bloodstains, forced entry, getting hair samples for DNA, fingerprints, impound car for later, check workplace
Haul off computers for forensic checks on emails, activity
Send out the usual "missing person, foul play suspected" bulletins and make database entries
Check the sightings trail ... ask neighbors, co-workers, etc. the last time they saw her and if she was with anyone
Set up a "money trail" ... go through her bills and see what credit cards she has, get a warrant or subpoena for last known activity, as CC companies to alert them if any further use ...
Subpoena bank records and put a watch on the bank accounts for further activity
If ATM or gas station activity, get the videos and look at them to see if she was alone or not

Check the relationships: is anyone out to get her, does anyone stand to profit from her death, could she just be visiting friends unexpectedly.

One case I am aware of, the disappearance of a 65 year old woman ended when she and her new husband (70-something) came back from their Hawaiian honeymoon. The grown, out of town kids had been kept in the dark about the relationship, and they decided to pay a surprise visit to Mummy and Mummy wasn't at home and wasn't answering the phone.