Who can file a missing person report and how to properly organize the search

There are many reasons why a citizen might contact the police. As a rule, police are contacted when you need to protect your rights, punish criminals, or protect yourself from a possible crime.

But sometimes it happens that you need to turn to the police for help, because their employees have powers and resources that are not available to everyone. In this article we will talk about what a statement about the search for a person to the police is, how it is written and how to find a person with its help.

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Reasons for disappearances

In order to eliminate or at least reduce the likelihood of people going missing, it is worth understanding the reasons for their disappearance. We will take the reasons for the disappearances from the official statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the last 5 years.

So, the reasons for the disappearance of people are as follows:

  1. Criminal incidents: Kidnappings. Kidnapping is punishable by the penalties specified in Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation;
  2. Assaults;
  3. Murders.
  • Medical:
      Seizures and other cases when a person is urgently hospitalized following a call from passers-by;
  • Mental disorders, memory loss.
  • Personal and intra-family:
      Quarrels and discord in the family;
  • The desire to run away from home is common among teenagers.
  • Political and ideological reasons.
  • In some cases, the reasons may be mixed. For example, the abduction of a child from adoptive parents by his real mother. In this case, parents simply need to know where to go if a person goes missing and within what time frame.

    Independent searches

    You cannot rely only on the police and other authorities for everything. We need to do something ourselves - take an active part in any search activities, call relatives and friends, post advertisements. If he is an avid hunter or fisherman, you can ask familiar members of these communities, look for the missing person in the forest or on the shore of a reservoir. It is important to remember and visit places where family members visited together or the disappeared person vacationed with friends.

    You can find a missing person using the Internet. Many people constantly post photos, various information about themselves, and the places they visit on apps. Based on this data, their exact stay is determined. If a relative or friend of the missing person knows the password, you can go to the personal page and ask users about it. There are special websites that contain information about missing citizens.

    Where to go if a person goes missing: criminal reasons for the disappearance

    Often, the disappearance of a person is of a criminal nature, and sometimes it can take on a traceless nature, when it is impossible to find the person through the police and other intelligence services.

    If you don’t know where to go if a person goes missing, then contact the police at your place of residence.

    It is law enforcement agencies that will be able to use the tools of power to investigate a missing person. As a rule, the case ends with the initiation of a criminal case, since a person may disappear for the following reasons:

    1. Kidnapping for ransom;
    2. Kidnapping for the purpose of selling a person into slavery or for organs;
    3. Hiding the corpse of a missing person by a killer.

    Often, the disappearance of a person is nothing more than an attempt by a criminal to cover up the traces of a crime. For example, hide or destroy a person’s corpse, after which he will be considered missing.

    Never delay in seeking help from the police if a person has disappeared; perhaps the reason for the disappearance is criminal and his life is in serious danger.

    Every year, about several hundred criminal cases of kidnapping are investigated across Russia, 1/5 of which concern the sale of people into slavery, for organs or for extradition to criminals seeking reprisals abroad. Almost always, criminals kidnap a person for selfish reasons.

    In addition, the abduction of girls for sexual slavery or by representatives of other nations for personal purposes remains rumored. As a rule, girls are found in the countries of the Middle East, but only in the first couple of months from the moment of abduction, after this period it is extremely difficult to find the missing person.

    You can read more about what kidnapping for ransom and forced imprisonment are here.

    How do you know if a person has had an accident?

    If a person goes missing, you need to contact the accident registration office. Police departments, medical institutions and morgues send here information every day about unidentified corpses, detainees, and people admitted to the hospital. Depending on the region, this department is assigned to a medical institution or law enforcement agency. To contact, you need to call the ambulance (03) and police (02) numbers. Next you will be contacted by the bureau . There is a separate website for Moscow.

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    What to do if a person suffering from mental illness goes missing?

    The second most popular reason for missing people is mental illness. In this case, the action plan is as follows:

    1. Notify the medical institution under whose care the missing person was;
    2. Contact the police with a missing person report, if he is over 18 years old, you will need to wait three days;
    3. Involve missing persons organizations in the search;
    4. Call hospitals;
    5. Go through the places that the patient visited most often.

    People with mental disorders (such as schizophrenia) are more likely to get into trouble, especially if they have run away from hospital or left home. In this case, the question of where to go if a person goes missing does not arise. You need to immediately go to the law enforcement agencies at the place of residence of the missing person or at the place of his disappearance.

    The main dangers a missing person may face are:

    1. Lack of medical care and vital medications;
    2. Wildlife dangers if the missing person has left the residential area;
    3. Meeting with representatives of the criminal world and falling into their hands for the purpose of long-distance sale, again into slavery, etc.
    4. A missing person may become a victim of a murderer, robber or maniac;
    5. A person may become a victim of an accident and die.

    You should not rely only on the help of the police; try to actively participate in search activities yourself. Remember all the places where the missing person loved to go.

    Unfortunately, mentally ill people can not only get into an unpleasant situation, but also become dangerous to society. Be sure to tell law enforcement officials about their illness to strengthen search efforts.

    Searching for a missing person using printed advertisements is becoming less effective compared to using the media, social networks, and television.

    How to report a missing person

    Of course, first of all it is worth considering the question of how to put a person on the wanted list. Often cases of disappearance are associated with the fact that a person left home and did not return or went to work and did not provide any information about himself for a long time. It doesn’t matter at all whether an adult or a child is missing; action must be taken immediately. It is necessary to submit a search application to the internal affairs bodies. To submit an application, it is important to take your own documents, a photograph of the missing person and, of course, remember the signs that will help during the search.

    How to find a person on the run due to non-payment of alimony?

    Another significant part of the search for people is the search for criminals, as well as the search for alimony debtor. Especially if the amount of debt has grown to incredible sizes.

    In this case you need:

    1. Contact the bailiff service and open enforcement proceedings;
    2. The bailiffs will put the debtor on the Federal Wanted List;
    3. If circumstances arise that indicate the possibility of a person being kidnapped or disappeared for other reasons, feel free to involve law enforcement agencies. It is possible that they are already working to find the debtor at the request of the bailiff service.

    Thus, you can find a missing person not only with the help of the police, but also with the bailiff service, if he had debts on alimony, loans, loans, etc.

    If a person has disappeared due to family troubles, then be prepared that the police will delay accepting the application or will not act at all. In this case, file a complaint about inaction with the prosecutor's office.

    Who is eligible to apply?

    According to the law, not only relatives, but also any other person who is interested in the search can apply to search for a person. For example, it could even be very distant relatives, friends, work colleagues, other Russian citizens who have their own motives for the search. Internal affairs officers do not have the right not to accept an application to search for a person, arguing that there is not sufficient proximity between the person who submits the application and the missing person himself.

    If a person is faced with such injustice, you can contact the prosecutor's office. To be sure that all necessary measures are being taken to find the person, you should ask the document registration number from the applicant.

    What to do first if a person goes missing: filing an application with the Department of Internal Affairs

    Let's move on to a practical guide on how to find a missing person. It’s not enough to figure out where to go if a person goes missing and how to file a report with the police; you will need to actively participate in the search itself.

    An official search for a person and declaring him missing is possible no less than 3 days after his last appearance.

    Before 3 days, the police simply will not be able to accept your application. The following can file a missing person report:

    1. Close relatives of the missing person: spouses, parents, children;
    2. Friends;
    3. Stakeholders: employers, creditors, etc.

    You will need to tell the police in as much detail as possible the following circumstances known to you:

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    1. The circumstances of the disappearance, whether there were disagreements in the family;
    2. Did the missing person have ill-wishers or rivals (at work, business, in relationships);
    3. What clothes did you last see the missing person in?
    4. Did the missing person’s phrases about the desire to leave home or disappear arise in conversations?
    5. Whether the missing person had problems with the law or bailiffs;
    6. Was the missing person a debtor in the creditor companies?
    7. Give the investigator the most current photograph or try to create a similar composite photo;
    8. Describe in the application specific features and details of appearance: Scars, moles;
    9. Having tattoos;
    10. Height Weight;
    11. Age;
    12. Hair color and hairstyle;
    13. Body type;
    14. Characteristic features of speech. For example, accent, swallowing endings, etc.
    15. Medical information (injuries, chronic diseases - everything that can help identify a person).

    In addition, you can expedite the acceptance of the application so that you do not have to wait three days from the date of sale. This is possible under the following circumstances:

    • You know the possible route or location where the missing person may be;
    • You don’t know where to turn if a person who has recently received threats from ill-wishers has disappeared;
    • If you have significant suspicions that criminal acts have been committed in relation to the missing person;
    • You have received ransom demands from kidnappers;
    • The missing person is under 18 years of age, especially if under 13 years of age.

    The main cases when a missing person report is accepted before the expiration of 3 days are the disappearance of children and suspicion of committing a crime.

    If a person is missing and you receive a ransom demand, then you need to file a report of kidnapping, not a missing person. In this case, there is no need to wait 3 days.

    In order for your application to be accepted immediately, you must present the following documents:

    1. Passport or a document replacing it;
    2. Documents indicating information about the missing person. You can use copies of documents. For example: Passport;
    3. Birth certificate;
    4. Pass to the place of work;
    5. Student ID;
    6. Driver license.

    Drawing up an application to a district police officer in Yekaterinburg

    Should I draw up an application (appeal) to the local inspector myself or contact a lawyer?

    If it is necessary to achieve a mandatory response to the application from the district police officer, then it is worth entrusting the application to the district police specialists - our lawyers. They will help you draft and submit the document correctly. It must be remembered that the police receive many complaints every day, so not all of them are always considered thoroughly.

    In order not to face “procrastination”, you should trust the professionals.

    This advice is especially useful for those who have already contacted law enforcement agencies more than once, who did not resolve the problem of the person who applied, and possibly, having initiated a criminal case, terminated it without any legal grounds. Only a complaint about the termination of a criminal case will help restore justice and point out the mistakes of law enforcement officers to supervisory authorities.

    If the complaint is not taken into account by the local police officer without a good reason, do not despair. Our lawyers will offer one, and then the official will be held accountable for failure to fulfill his official duties.

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    Where to go if a person goes missing abroad?

    Next, let's move on to the question of where to go if a person has disappeared in another country. When going to another country, many people forget about their own safety, and therefore can:

    1. Get lost;
    2. Be kidnapped by local criminals;
    3. Become a victim of an attack.

    The situation becomes more complicated if a child or a person who does not know the local language, roads, etc. is missing. In this case, answering the question of where to go if a person has disappeared abroad, our answer is the Russian embassy.

    The search for a Russian citizen abroad is carried out by the local police and the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation (Russian Embassy).

    Despite the fact that the police of all countries always do their best to search for a foreign citizen, be prepared for the fact that the timing of the discovery of the missing person is unpredictable.

    The main task of the embassy in this case is:

    1. Coordinate the work of the local police and their communication with the applicant;
    2. Provide support to the applicant with writing an application and collecting documents to open a case to search for the missing person.

    Next, the police are engaged in search activities, and most likely both the embassy and law enforcement officers will earnestly ask you to stay as far away from the search as possible. Try not to object.

    Review period

    Expert opinion

    Katkov Konstantin

    Reports of missing persons are processed immediately. When submitting an application to the Department of Internal Affairs, it is recommended to stay at the department, because The police may have additional questions.

    What police officers are required to do:

    • accept a citizen’s application, regardless of the degree of his relationship with the missing person, the completeness of the description and how long ago the disappearance is;
    • register the document and issue a coupon notification of acceptance of the application;
    • conduct a check of a person’s possible places of residence, interview acquaintances and witnesses, conduct an inspection of possible crime scenes and submit a request for technical data that can narrow the scope of searches (statements, call details, data from pages on social networks, etc.).

    The applicant is advised to find out the registration number and full name of the accepting employee. If there are delays in organizing the search, personal data will make it easier to file a complaint with the prosecutor’s office.

    If search activities have been started, then there is no need to often call the police department and find out about the progress of the case. If any important information or additional questions arise, the police will contact the applicant.

    How are the search activities going?

    After your statement about a missing person has been accepted by law enforcement agencies, they proceed to carry out search measures. These include:

    1. Distribution of information about a missing person to possible locations of the missing person: To train stations, airports;
    2. To hospitals, morgues;
    3. In crowded places;
    4. To police stations and district officers;
    5. Police patrols;
    6. Traffic police patrols.
  • Transfer of information about a missing person to the transport police.
  • After a certain time, this distribution is carried out to neighboring regions and international transport lines.
  • The beginning of the activities of operational workers (“operators”) and criminal investigation officers;
  • Putting a person on an official wanted list on the territory of the Russian Federation;
  • Interviewing the victim’s acquaintances, searching for ill-wishers;
  • Establishing connections with relatives and friends from other cities and countries;
  • If the investigation has suspicions that a crime has been committed, then a criminal case is initiated and measures to search for the missing person are intensified. It is possible to connect special services and related services.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot help but say that almost 2/3 of missing person cases remain unsolved due to the limited capabilities of law enforcement officers and the existence of many obstacles during the search.

    According to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, relatives of a missing person, after 10 years from the date of disappearance, can file an application with the court to declare the person missing and receive his inheritance.

    To declare a person missing, you must confirm that for 10 years you have not received any information about his whereabouts.

    How to write an application correctly

    To submit an application, it must be completed correctly. The document must be written on an A4 sheet, with an indication at the top to whom and from whom the application is being submitted. Initially, the full name of the head of the police department is written, then the full name of the institution where the paper is being submitted, the full name of the applicant with his address and telephone number. Then the word “Statement” is written in the middle.

    The main part of the document will need to provide a full description of the problem that arose, describe the applicant’s request that the police take action and help in finding the missing person. The applicant must provide absolutely all the information about the missing person, indicate his last place of stay and where and who could have seen him.

    The date and signature are placed at the bottom.

    Property issues when a person goes missing

    Despite the disappearance of property rights, the property obligations and rights of a person are preserved until he is declared missing. This means that the registration of ownership of large property is also preserved, because real estate, vehicles.

    Therefore, relatives of the missing person cannot use and dispose of his property. They cannot sell it, rent it out, or use it to pay for the work of searchers. Even a banal stay in the apartment of a missing relative and the use of his money is prohibited.

    Relatives of the missing person can dispose of property (sell, use, etc.) only after he is declared missing and enters into inheritance.

    To declare a person missing, you must:

    1. Submit an application to the court to declare him missing;
    2. Confirm that there is no data on his whereabouts over the past 10 years. In some cases, 3 years is allowed.

    The court will consider all the circumstances of the case, starting with the filing of a missing persons report and conducting search activities up to the present day.

    If the court satisfies the request to declare a person missing, the heirs of the missing person can begin the procedure for entering into inheritance rights.

    Where do people go missing in Russia?

    According to police officers involved in search cases, most often they have to work with three categories of missing persons:

    1. Persons who suddenly have aggravated or manifested mental illness and for this reason they leave in an unknown direction. For example, they searched for one girl for a long time, and her relatives no longer had any hope. Three years later she was found in one of the mental hospitals in Belgorod;
    2. People who have lost contact with family due to an antisocial lifestyle . Simply put, homeless people or those recently released from prison;
    3. Runaway children . Children run away from families after a big quarrel, because of beatings, or simply wanting to travel with a friend.

    The police are the first place a relative of a suddenly missing person should come. You should not rely on your own strength in such a matter; at this moment it is important to trust professionals, whose work is most effective in the first day of searching.

    Some tips for finding a missing person

    • Remember whether the missing person had ill-wishers, envious people or persons claiming his property (heirs);
    • Do not be afraid to seek help in finding a missing person from volunteer and other search organizations.
    • If you are not sure that you know where to turn if a person goes missing, then contact the police, search organizations, and also the company where the missing person worked. If he disappears during the working day, the company's management will be obliged to help find him.
    • Try to remember in detail what the missing person looked like before disappearing, whether he had injuries or other distinctive features.
    • Choose a photo for the announcement of the search for a missing person that is as relevant as possible to the date of disappearance. The best option is a photo taken a couple of days before or on the day of the disappearance.
    • If you have funds, you can pay for the services of paid search firms to search for people;
    • Try to use groups, sites and programs for searching for missing people available on the Internet.

    Please note that Russian legislation is constantly changing and the information we write may become outdated. In order to resolve the issue you have regarding Criminal Law, we advise you to seek the advice of a lawyer in support of the site.

    The main mistakes of friends and relatives of the missing person

    Relatives of a person who has disappeared without a trace, under the weight of grief and despair, often commit a number of wrong actions , which not only do not help in the search, but also complicate it:

    • They don't tell the whole truth to the police . When the parents of a missing child are asked if there have been conflicts in the family recently, they prefer to keep silent about something. For example, that they scolded their son or daughter for bad grades. Don’t be afraid to seem like bad parents, this happens in every family. But the operatives will work out the routes along which children most often try to run away from home. Or another situation is possible. A couple of years ago, my husband cheated on his wife with his mistress. But then my wife found out and created a terrible scandal. The unfaithful husband promised to stop cheating forever. When he suddenly disappears, it would be a good idea for his wife to inform the police about this sensitive moment. After all, the husband could go to his mistress, and on the way home something bad happened to him. Investigators will be able to know where to start searching and interview witnesses;
    • They rely on their own strength for too long and search for the missing person themselves . As already mentioned, there can be no delay in such a matter. If the child does not answer the phone for about half an hour, he is not in the yard or with friends, then contacting the police will be the right step. In the case of an adult, the waiting time and independent search can be an hour or an hour and a half. You cannot hesitate, because witnesses often forget important information within a day;
    • Turn to psychics . Volunteers of search teams say that information from people with superpowers turns out to be useless. But the relatives of the missing person, tormented by uncertainty, continue to look for “strong magicians” (in 100% of cases, charlatans) who give dubious advice;
    • They post missing persons notices without the consent of the police. It seems logical for relatives to notify more people about their trouble in order to increase the chances of obtaining useful testimony. But there are many nuances here. If we are talking about a child who has run away from home, then the directions posted on the streets will only scare him away, and he will decide to leave the city altogether. Also, do not include your phone number in advertisements. Not all callers have reliable information, so police must separate meaningful testimony from false ones.

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