The quick answer to this question is to contact the police and file a report as soon as necessary. There is no waiting period for filing a missing persons report, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
If Your Young Child Goes Missing
Young children are at the top of the list of priorities for the police, especially those who are of elementary school age or younger. In most situations, these children do not get lost intentionally as a teenager might. They may wander off, but they can be taken as well. Obviously, if your young child goes missing, call the police immediately.
If Your Teenager Goes Missing
A teenager can often forget to tell you where they are or get home later than they were supposed to. How quickly you contact the police will depend upon many factors. The age of your missing teen, where they told you they would be, and whether or not you can reach them on their cell phone.
Their available transportation can also play a factor, as a teenager with access to a car or who has a friend with a car can create many possible scenarios. With a teen, the important thing to do before filing a mission persons report is to make sure you have contacted all of the people he or she may likely be with or those who may know where your teen is.
If an Older Adult Goes Missing
Older people with dementia or other age related mental conditions are given special attention by the police. If this happens to your loved one, it may be wise to look around your home or neighborhood; older adults seldom go far. However, if you cannot find them quickly, it is best to file a missing persons report. Often, an elderly person is found by the police before you have time to fill out any paperwork.
If a Person Needing Medication Goes Missing
At the top of the priority list of missing persons is children and any adults who are in need of assisted care. Although teenagers are often given a lower priority, those who need daily medication in order to stay alive are moved to the top of the list. For example, a teenager who takes insulin for diabetes or other life-saving medication.
Always remember that the police are going to do what they can but the police have limited resources. If you are attempting to locate a missing person, such as a runaway teenager, and the police seem to have done all they can do, you may want to consider using a missing person private investigator. We can focus our investigation on finding a missing person without the need to prioritize other case.