1. Stay as calm as possible. Contact neighbours, friends, spouse, siblings and anyone who may know where your child may be. Invite a friend or acquaintance to be with you.
2. A telephone search. Call family, friends and relatives who may wish to help. Ask them to use their telephones to make inquiry calls so your line will remian free for incoming calls.
3. Ask friends and relatives to do a basic land search of the neighbouring area while you are making a police occurence report. With family and friends, try to recall the present and past few days of family situations and activities (a recent argument or discipinary action could be the reason for hiding). Try to remember what the child was wearing when last seen.
- your home and property, including the attic for well hidden children. Do not disturb or move anything in your child’s room until police have checked it.
- homes of your child’s friends, neighbours, and relatives
- ex-spouse’s home, if you are separated
- past and present baby-sitters
- school and school yard (The child may have after school activities or detention)
- community centre
- local sports facility
- parks or play areas
- shopping centres and corner stores
- video arcades
- hobby shops
- bicycle shops
- bus terminals
Your child may have run away -
- Check your teenager’s room. Older children may pack a few things if they are running away or might leave a note regarding their disappearance. Be careful not to disturb items in the room such as, desk papers, waste baskets, wallet, purse, linen, makeup and cosmetic bag.
- Check for signs of possible religious or cult involvement. This may be evident by looking through the books, magazines, collections, tapes, compact discs, records and personal belongings.
- Check school locker and desk for information which may help determine your teenagers plans, friends names and addresses and possible activities.
4. If none of these 3 steps yields the missing child, it is time to file a missing person report. Provide the police with as much information as possible. Setting up your child
with an “identification kit” in the unlikelyhood that your child should go missing, is a good idea. The kit should contain, a clear photograph(updated as the child grows older), birth certificate, medical history, passport(or number), dental records, any visible birth marks or scars etc.
5. Contact the media, newspapers, radio, TV etc. send them a photo of the child. The first few hours are vital when a child is missing.
6. Act quickly, the first few hours after a child goes missing are very important and each minute should be used efficiently.