When is the right time to report someone missing?
Sat, 01 Jun 2013 01:22:55 GMT —
After a Tift County woman was reported missing two months after she was last seen, officials suspect foul play was involved in her disappearance, but when is the right time to go to the police? Officials say there is no 24-hour rule to report someone missing and an investigation can begin the second you think something is wrong.
"As soon as you realize somebody's missing, you need to contact law enforcement immediately. That way law enforcement can get involved and we can start expending all of our resources," said Deputy Chief Lewis Harris with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
With a fine line between being an overprotective relative or friend and having a sneaking suspicion that turns out to be right, when is the time to make that call?
"If you haven't seen them or you haven't talked to them or something's out of the ordinary. If you know a lady always takes her purse but her purse is there, that might be an indicator something could be wrong and you definitely need to call," said Albany Police Department Lieutenant Tracey Barnes.
From there officials will fill out all of the identifying information on the person and begin their search, and no matter if it lasts five minutes or five months, they say you should never question taking that first step.
"Whether they left on their own accord or they just wanted time away, we would rather know that they are safe than have to deal with where something's happened to the person involving foul play," said Barnes.
Police say the longer you wait, the more time there is for the missing person to get farther away so the next time you can't reach someone and the hours start to tick away, pick up the phone and make that call to authorities.