Some missing person reports involve individuals who have voluntarily left home for personal reasons, while other reports are often unfounded or quickly resolved. However, there are many instances in which persons disappear for unexplained reasons and under circumstances where they may be considered at risk. The roles of the report-taker and initial responding officer are critical in identifying the circumstances surrounding missing persons and in identifying those persons at risk. Therefore, agencies should ensure that (1) all reports of missing persons are given full consideration and attention by members of the agency to include careful recording and investigation of factual circumstances surrounding the disappearance, and (2) that particular care is exercised in instances involving missing children and those who may be developmentally, intellectually, or cognitively impaired or others who are insufficiently prepared to take care of themselves.
These documents establish responsibilities and guidelines for the investigation of missing persons.