MISSING PERSONS

The missing person search seeks to locate parties who may or may not want to be found. The missing person search is used to find long lost friends, lovers, and relatives. Locate searches are also used in cases of adoption, as you may need to find your birth parents to learn of your medical history, or you may be a biological parent (birth mother, birth father) looking for children given up at birth for adoption.

Missing persons investigations and search

There are several levels of inquiry to missing person search. In some cases, such as finding long lost friends, lovers, and relatives who have just drifted away, you may have a fair amount of information about them already, such as last known address and date of birth. For other types of locate searches, you may not have any such vital data or the information you have may be decades old. These cases are more challenging, but they are solvable.

A couple of factors determine the level of difficulty in a missing person search where there is little more than a name to start with. The first factor is how common is the person’s name. If the last name is Smith or Jones and the first is fairly common, the task is more difficult. The second factor is name changes. Women generally change their names when they get married. This presents some of the more difficult locate projects, especially when the date of birth is unknown.

The real-time missing person-the friend or relative or child that has disappeared recently requires-different strategies than those described to this point. In these cases our agents in the field must “pound the pavement” to find the missing person. We also employ high tech measures and discreet sources to obtain information leading to the missing person.

Missing person locates for attorneys, law firms

Attorneys and law firms often need help locating missing persons as well. Tristar Investigation has been providing first class litigation support to lawyers for 30 years. We provide fast and efficient results and deliver them in a presentation that meets the needs of the legal industry. In addition we back up our work product with solid evidence and experienced testimony when needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I do a skip trace on a witness who has moved?
If you need to do a skip trace on a witness who has moved the first thing to do is request a forwarding address from the local post office under the Freedom of Information act (FOIA.) The response you get will vary from one post office to another but do not expect a fast response from any of them. It is often more efficient to hire a private investigator to do this since they have knowledge of the system and techniques that can expedite the process.
If the post office route is not productive, finding a witness that has moved can also be accomplished by a private investigator that has access to proprietary consumer databases that are not available to the general public. Some law firms also have access to these databases, however interpreting them and knowing how to best follow the leads in these search results is a special skill that allows a seasoned investigator to maximize the result.
If database research does not yield the current location of the witness, then old fashioned gum-shoe investigation may be required. (Private eyes from the film noir era got the moniker of “gum shoe” because they had to do so much pavement-pounding walking that they always got gum on their shoes.) Going out to the last known address and talking to neighbors and apartment managers can yield a treasure trove of information, especially when a skilled undercover private eye is on the job.
I need to find a missing client
Many times a civil law suit such as a personal injury case can take several years to wind its way through the courts. If you are an attorney who represents such clients invariably you will run into the situation where you go to contact your client about an upcoming deposition or other matter and low and behold you client has gone missing.
Of course you will initially go through the process of trying to get a new address by the usual methods, doing forwarding address request or a skip trace however in many cases this will not produce the desired results. This is when you need to hire a private investigator to track down your nomadic client.
What the skilled private eye brings to the table is years of experience in finding where these missing people wander off to. They know how to read the address history to establish patterns. The can often tell if the subject has doubled back to a previous address or has moved in with relatives. And they know how to approach third parties such as neighbors and relatives to get the information on the new whereabouts without raising red flags that may dampen cooperation.
How can I locate the defendant to serve him?
If you are a lawyer involved in a civil suit such as a personal injury or wrongful death case one key part of your responsibility is to serve the defendant with papers to notify them that they are being sued. Often you may not have sufficient contact information on the defendant to locate and serve them.
This is when you need the services of an experienced private investigator to take what meager information you have on the culprit and turn it into the actionable data required to locate and serve the defendant. Private eyes can take seemingly scant data on a subject and follow the breadcrumbs provided to the eventual locating of a defendant.
Sometimes it looks like the defendant has disappeared off the face of the earth. One useful technique employed by a private investigator is to identify and track down relatives of the subject. PI’s can do this by using databases that contain clues to such information. Many times even if the subject has taken great pains to hide, their relatives have not and the private investigator can exploit this weak link in the chain.
A person owes us money, can you do a skip trace on them?
Many times an attorney will need to find a debtor who owes them or their client money. Finding debtors is an age-old task. The term skip trace goes back to the 1950’s when people would “skip town” to avoid paying their bills. Debt collection companies or private eyes would be called in to “trace” down their current whereabouts, hence the term skip trace.
Skip tracing a debtor is especially challenging because in most cases they are intentionally trying to cover their tracks and stay hidden. That’s when the services of a skilled private investigator are needed. They have the tools and experience to be the modern day posse on the trail of these dead-beats.
One way dead-beats game the system is to use aliases (false names) also referred to as “AKA’s” an anachronism for “also known as.” They also associate these AKA’s with multiple bogus Social Security numbers. However they are often unimaginative in their use of these and private investigators have proprietary databases that can be used to figure out the patterns and methods of these unscrupulous individuals and trace them to their new location.
How can I locate an expert/doctor/celebrity?
Many times a lawyer will need to locate a well known person or celebrity who may be involved in a civil law suit or other litigation. Finding these individuals is especially challenging since they have the motive and means to hide their personal data, especially where they live. Many times this is for good reason since celebrities face the challenges of being stalked by both the paparazzi and sometimes deranged fans.
In other cases the attorney needs to locate the address of an expert witness or opposing doctor to serve them with legal papers such a summons or subpoena for deposition. These individuals also sometimes go out of their way to hide their whereabouts for similar reasons. Like celebrities they often own multiple properties and can also use postal mail drops. Often properties are held in names of partnerships or shielded through business managers or accountants.
Private investigators know how to thread the needle of public and private records to follow the trails to these well protected individuals. Sometimes skilled use of databases aid in this quest and other times good old fashioned undercover foot work are what’s needed. In either case private eyes are the key to finding the whereabouts of the rich and famous who don’t want to be found.
I need to find the heirs to an estate
Many times lawyers need to find the next of kin or heirs to an estate. In some cases the identity of these parties are known but last known addresses are years old. In other cases there are only vague references to survivors who may be getting on in years or may even be deceased.
If you need to find heirs to an estate, whether it involves the execution of a will or state probate, a private investigator is the key to tracking these people down. Private eyes have the know-how and experience to take whatever clues are left to these long lost relatives and follow the leads to discover their current location.
Finding heirs to an estate may also require the assistance of a genealogy expert, especially when the list of next of kin or heirs may be incomplete. In these cases the investigator can coordinate with the genealogy expert to go back in time and trace the linage forward.

Missing Person Search Options

  • Choose a Plan
  • Current address from multiple cross-referenced sources Current address from multiple cross-referenced sources
  • Possible phone numbers, current and former Possible phone numbers, current and former
  • Possible email addresses that may be associated with the subject Possible email addresses that may be associated with the subject
  • Date of birth or age confirmation based on year of birth Date of birth or age confirmation based on year of birth
  • Former address history, includes past addresses nationwide Former address history, includes past addresses nationwide
  • Possible relatives and associates Possible relatives and associates
  • Social Security number confirmation Social Security number confirmation
  • Social media review and possible work affiliations/schedules Social media review and possible work affiliations/schedules
  • Identify and research relatives and associates Identify and research relatives and associates
  • Identify location of subject using confidential sources Identify location of subject using confidential sources
  • Level 1

  • $175*

    You provide name and recent address or SS#

  • Current address from multiple cross-referenced sources yes
  • Possible phone numbers, current and former yes
  • Possible email addresses that may be associated with the subject yes
  • Date of birth or age confirmation based on year of birth
  • Former address history, includes past addresses nationwide
  • Possible relatives and associates
  • Social Security number confirmation
  • Social media review and possible work affiliations/schedules
  • Identify and research relatives and associates
  • Identify location of subject using confidential sources
  • Level 2

  • $250*

    You provide name and phone or date of birth

  • Current address from multiple cross-referenced sources yes
  • Possible phone numbers, current and former yes
  • Possible email addresses that may be associated with the subject yes
  • Date of birth or age confirmation based on year of birth yes
  • Former address history, includes past addresses nationwide yes
  • Possible relatives and associates
  • Social Security number confirmation
  • Social media review and possible work affiliations/schedules
  • Identify and research relatives and associates
  • Identify location of subject using confidential sources
  • Level 3

  • $350

    You provide name only

  • Current address from multiple cross-referenced sources yes
  • Possible phone numbers, current and former yes
  • Possible email addresses that may be associated with the subject yes
  • Date of birth or age confirmation based on year of birth yes
  • Former address history, includes past addresses nationwide yes
  • Possible relatives and associates yes
  • Social Security number confirmation yes
  • Social media review and possible work affiliations/schedules
  • Identify and research relatives and associates
  • Identify location of subject using confidential sources
  • Level 4

  • $500 and up

    Evasive/underground subjects

  • Current address from multiple cross-referenced sources yes
  • Possible phone numbers, current and former yes
  • Possible email addresses that may be associated with the subject yes
  • Date of birth or age confirmation based on year of birth yes
  • Former address history, includes past addresses nationwide yes
  • Possible relatives and associates yes
  • Social Security number confirmation yes
  • Social media review and possible work affiliations/schedules yes
  • Identify and research relatives and associates yes
  • Identify location of subject using confidential sources yes

Missing Person Search Options

Level 1 – $175

You provide name and recent address or SS#

  • Current address from multiple cross-referenced sources
  • Possible phone numbers, current and former
  • Possible email addresses that may be associated with the subject

Level 2 – $250

You provide name and phone or date of birth

  • Includes all Level 1 searches above
  • Date of birth or age confirmation based on year of birth
  • Former address history, includes past addresses nationwide

Level 3 – $350

You provide name only

  • Includes all Level 1 and 2 searches above
  • Possible relatives and associates
  • Social Security number confirmation

Level 4 – $500 and up

Evasive/underground subjects

  • Includes all Level 1, 2 and 3 searches above
  • Social media review and possible work affiliations/schedules
  • Identify and research relatives and associates
  • Identify location of subject using confidential sources

How do we locate missing persons?

We have access to thousands of databases nationwide with millions of names and addresses. These include driver records, consumer profiles, social security data, post office forwarding data, mailing lists, magazine subscriptions, voter records, utility records, reverse telephone directories, real property records, and a host of other public and proprietary databases. (Some states restrict access to certain databases.)

What people are saying

Thank you for providing me with such outstanding service. I truly appreciate you and your staff for all you’ve done for me and my family…. I’m totally pleased with the outcome and their findings… Great job!

Gerome S. | Retired | USA

I have used Tristar for years. Their response time and results are unparalleled. They get my highest praise.

Robert Clayton, Attorney | Taylor & Ring, LLP | Los Angeles, CA

Tristar found my birth mothers records the same day. I am very impressed with their professionalism and the services they provide. I will use them again for any of my needs.

Dr. Claudia Barne | Professor | 23 years

Tristar was very helpful in my address search. Kellie Anguiano was very personable and kept me up to date with the search process… Thank you so much for your help!

Emily | DDS Student | 2 years | Los Angeles, CA

Tristar is by far the most reliable and efficient investigator we have ever used.

Nicole Young | Attorney, 14 years | Woodland Hills, CA

Tristar in the news

Tristar Investigation has been featured in a dozens of publications, everything from print to TV and radio. Bellow you will find Burce Robertson interviewed and discussed on famous publications such as the History Channel, New York Times, CNN and a lot more.

News Coverage Highlights

Bruce Robertson is the founder of Tristar Investigation, a private detective agency in Los Angeles, CA. Tristar has a 28-year track record of delivering quality investigative results. Headquartered in West Los Angeles, Tristar has branch offices in San Francisco.

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Real Life Private Eye

In November of 1999 Bruce Robertson, founder of Tristar Investigation, was featured on CNN Worldwide show Showbiz Today with Gloria Hillard. The report was about an ABC television show called “Snoops”, which was a glitzy send-up of life at a detective

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