How Does A Private Investigator Find Someone?
When you hire a private investigator to find someone, you are hiring someone who usually has years of training and experience in tracking people down. The missing person detective you hire will have developed methods and resources over the years while working as a PI. The investigator uses his skills, knowledge, methods and resources as well as their wit. To give you some idea as to how the private investigator will proceed; first of all they will ask you for the information mentioned above. The investigator will evaluate the information you give them to build some form of picture and plan. The investigator will start making enquiries from their office, as this is usually the cheapest and more efficient method. Such enquiries can consist of:
- Phone calls to the last known address, neighbors, work, friends, etc.
- Internet research, social media accounts, online directories
- Online records research
There are many avenues for the investigator to pursue and it’s surprising what information is available - if you know where to look. If however, the private investigator you hired to find someone comes to a halt with no more avenues, just dead ends, he will then need to do some, what is called “leg work”. Leg work is simply getting out of the office and making personal enquiries. The investigator will visit the last known address, relatives, and places the missing person could be.
Two types of approach the investigator can use to find people
There are two types of approach or ways of conducting missing people searches when making physical enquiries by phone or through house to house, property to property visits, these are:
- An open approach: this method is overt (open, not hidden) and is used when there is no reason to hide the fact the missing person is being searched for, such as an old friend or family member.
- A closed approach: this method is covert (hidden) where the investigator will need to use his wits, imagination and acting skills to find out information. This method is usually used in finding debtors, fugitives or runaway teenagers that don’t want to be found.
This will give you some idea of what to expect and how an investigator will proceed with a missing person case; but all investigators will have their own methods of finding people.
How Long Does It Take For A Private Investigator To Find Someone?
Missing Persons investigations and the length of time used to find someone whose missing varies. Some simple cases take only hours with more lengthy, complex cases taking weeks or even months. There are a number of factors to consider when talking about how long it takes to find someone. Some of these factors include:
- The type and amount of information available regarding the missing person
- The age and quality of the information that’s available
- Is the missing person avoiding being found (as with debtors)
- Cost and how much you are willing to spend
These are some things to consider when you want a private investigator to find a person. The investigator you hire will be able to assess whether the case is going to be simple or difficult and may be able to give you an indication of time. But do not expect the estimate to be guaranteed as missing persons cases can take unusual turns, altering the length of time it takes to find a person. The investigator will usually keep you informed on how your case is progressing so you are not kept in the dark.