It’s a stark fact of American life: at any given time, roughly 100,000 people are “missing.” People go missing for many reasons; children may be abducted by a spouse involved in a custody dispute, adults sometimes run away. Very few missing persons are actually the victim of foul play at the hands of a stranger.
Baldwin Legal Investigations has been successful in locating many missing persons. A recent case involved finding an estranged family member who had come into an inheritance. We also routinely provide skip tracing services for our legal clients.
Sometimes you may be looking for a person who is not actually missing but may have fallen out of touch. In these case, you may not need law enforcement or a full blown private investigation – you might just need to do some sleuthing on your own.
The Internet has given rise to hundreds of websites that can help you find people. Many people who use our People Search service have already tried to track someone themselves before they get in touch.
TIP: DO NOT PAY for information that is coming exclusively from public sources that you can access yourself for free. You’ll find thousands of different People Search sites that will charge your credit card before sending you a report full of information you could have obtained yourself.
Instead, start by doing some basic searches on Google and Facebook. Sometimes that alone will give you enough to track down your target. And there are some other good people search resources that don’t cost a nickel:
- Pipl.com is a good place for gathering information about a person’s online presence, providing contact and background information, social media profiles, public records and web pages related to a person’s name, phone number or email address. Although basic information is free, many of the links for more data will simply take you to one of the commercial public records search sites that charge. But it’s a good place since it will allow you to see if your subject is participating on social networks and tell you what name (or “handle”) they use on each.
- Sometimes looking for relatives of your subject is a good way to go and the best place to start looking for relatives is FamilySearch.org. Although this comprehensive database is popularly used for genealogical searches, it can also provide leads by giving you names and locations for siblings and other family members of your search subject.
If doing this sort of research yourself isn’t an option then a People Search through BLI might be a good next step. Unlike the generic commercial People Search sites that proliferate, all our investigative search and reporting work is performed personally by one of our licensed and certified professional investigators. The sources we use in conducting these person searches may include proprietary databases in addition to public records, and which ones we use depends on your personal situation – something you don’t get with a people search through a commercial search company.