Explainer: How To Report a Missing Person
The Siren Staff The Siren Staff August 31, 2014

Explainer: How To Report a Missing Person


With Amber so much in the news lately, we should go over what to do if one of your friends goes missing.

The #1 thing to know: There is no waiting period. As soon as you know someone is missing, report it to police.


  • Write as complete a description of the person as you can: age, height, weight, build, hair color and length, tattoos, braces, what they were wearing last time they were seen, do they have a medical condition, etc. Everything you can think of. Age is important because the active search is different for juveniles and adults.
  • Bring photos of the person that show how they look now.
  • Write/tell as much as you know about what the person was doing when they went missing, especially anything suspicious that might have been going on. You may need to talk with other people to get this information.
  • Do you suspect foul play? If foul play is suspected the response is treated more urgently by police as opposed to a person who is suspected of being voluntarily missing, or in other words: a runaway.
  • Give all this information to the police, both talking and in writing, as soon as you can.


  • Has this person been reported missing before? If so, where were they found?
  • Do they have a boyfriend/girlfriend? If so where do they live and what is their phone number?
  • Does the missing person usually carry a cell phone? If so what is the number? (This is so the police can try to track it if foul play is suspected)
  • Where does the missing person usually hang out?
  • Does the missing person drink alcohol or use drugs, even marijuana?
  • If you were a police officer where would you go to look for the missing person?

Featured image by David Goehring, used under a Creative Commons license.

The Siren Staff

The Siren Staff

The student staff of the East Los High Siren, bringing you all the news and everyday realness from East LA and beyond!

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