How We Rely On Technology To Locate Missing People

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It’s a sad fact of life that people go missing every day for a variety of reasons. Some want to escape problems at home. Others wish to “disappear” from their creditors if they owe a lot of money.

In both of those cases, there will doubtless be people or organizations that want to find those missing persons. These days, it’s easier to find them thanks to technology. In fact, we depend on it more rather than using traditional methods to seek out people that have gone missing.


Have you ever wondered how the police and private investigators find missing people these days? Here are a few examples of the technology at their disposal:

Cell phone records

Arguably the best chance of locating a missing person is by tracking their cell phone location. The thing about mobile phones is that they connect to sub-networks wherever they are in the world. These “cells” will report details like the subscriber number, mobile serial number and the date and time.

Even if the missing person’s mobile is off, investigators can still trace the cell phone’s last known location. They can then help them to narrow down their search area.

An even easier method is by using phone tracking software. The Apple iPhone, for example, has an app called “Find My Friends.” If the missing person uses it, their “friend” can see where they are, right down to street level.

Those devices are also linked to an online “iCloud” account. Investigators can request access to it for tracking purposes.

Social media

Another effective tool at an investigator’s disposal is social media. Let’s face it; most people use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. It’s fairly straightforward to find a person by searching on those networks for them.

Some people might not realize that posts on social media can also display the town or city from where the message got sent. Even things like recent photos posted up can provide telltale signs of where a missing person might have gone.

When you use an investigator to find a missing person, social media will almost always be one of the most used tools in the search.

Surveillance cameras

It seems like wherever you go these days, there will always be a CCTV camera staring down at you. They are used in public places like shopping malls, train stations and even on buses. They also get used in commercial establishments like stores, restaurants and gas stations.

When an investigator searches for a missing person, they usually work on their last known movements. At that point, they will request to see CCTV footage to learn where they’ve gone next.

For example, they might secure surveillance footage of the person getting into a taxi cab. Or even of them walking through an airport terminal.

As you can imagine, the chances of finding a missing person are much higher than they were say ten or twenty years ago. And it’s all down to technology lending us a helping hand!

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