Missing Persons - FAQs
What is a Missing Person?
A person whose location is unknown and who might be:
- in need of assistance to be reunited with his/her family, or to return home;
- the victim of an offence;
- in critical need of medical attention;
- mentally impaired and unable to care for himself/herself or who might pose a danger to his/her safety or to that of others;
- a runaway or AWOC (absent without consent).
What is a Runaway or AWOC (Absent without consent)?
runaway is a child or young person who leaves the home, group home, or other place of residence for an indefinite period of time, often as a result of potential or actual serious problems that require clinical or social intervention.
Why do people go missing?
There are many reasons for people to go missing. Some of these reasons include leaving an abusive relationship/situation, relapsing with respect to drug and alcohol addictions, medical issues, mental health issues, or simply wanting a break from life.
How long are people normally missing?
Most people return within a short period of time of being reported missing. However, there are some files in which people have gone missing for years before they are located.
How do I report someone missing?
You simply have to call your local police (Surrey RCMP 604-599-0502) and tell them that you need to report someone as missing. The call taker will guide you through the rest of the process.
How long do I have to wait before reporting someone missing?
You do not have to wait to report someone missing. In fact, we encourage people to report someone as missing immediately so that we can commence the investigation and efforts to locate the missing person as soon as possible.
Can I report someone who has been missing for a long time, even years?
Absolutely. Just like any other missing person, call the police and tell them that you need to report someone as missing. The call taker will guide you through the rest of the process.
How does the Surrey RCMP find people?
The Surrey RCMP's Missing Persons Unit uses many techniques to locate missing persons including:
- Interviewing friends, family, and associates of the missing person.
- Making public appeals for assistance through the media.
- Tracking contact with government agencies by the missing person.
- Tracking banking transactions of the missing person.
- Tracking cellular telephone usage of the missing person.
- Passing out missing person posters in areas frequented by the missing person.
- Accessing social media that the missing person is using.
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