From Whispers to Roars

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What to do Before a Loved One is Missing.

I can not stress enough that even though your family is intact now ALL parents need to have a plan incase the unthinkable happens. Below I will list how to make your own ID Kits, DNA Kits out of household products.

Also every family and friend should have a copy of the Family Survival Guide for in case someone you know and love vanishes no matter what their age.

In this world nothing is absolute. No family is immune from tragedy. Please copy these tips and information. Be prepared for your family and neighbors.

Both these kits are fast and easy and do not require buying any fancy items to make them.

ID Kits:
What you need for each child/person:
Manila envelope
Plain white envelope
Up to date pictures
A sheet of paper
Nail clippings
A couple strands of hair pulled from the root
Tape or paste

Tape or paste the photos to the piece of paper. List the child’s name, date of birth, eye color, hair color, any distinguishing features (birthmarks, scars, moles, etc..), finger print the child onto the paper or a separate piece. If you use a separate piece, label it. Place the nail clippings and hair in the white envelope, seal, and label with the child’s name and the date. Place the everything inside the manila envelope, seal, and label again. Put these up out of reach, preferable in a lock box or something. You should update the photos and information at least once a year. If your child is very young, I’d say 5 or younger, then update at least twice a year.

DNA Kit:

Now, for the first time, parents can sample their children's DNA at home, using household products with the full knowledge that the integrity of the product will be maintained.

Rub a clean (sterile if possible) cotton swab* on inside of cheek until moist. Let air dry for twenty-four hours. Label with child's name and sample date. When dry, place in Zip-lock bag, then fold and place that Zip-lock bag in another Zip-lock bag. (double seal) Save in freezer until needed. Follow same procedure for blood sample. However, wait until child scrapes or cuts him/herself before taking sample. Save baby teeth in the same manner.

*You can also use sterile gauze or a clean piece of filter paper.

When Your Child is Missing: A Family Survival Guide, Third Edition

Report, May 2004; revised from 1998. Provides parents with the most current information on, and helpful insights into, what families should do when a child is missing. 108 pages. NCJ 204958.

The pdf is 99 pages and 6.4 MB

National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA)

Register a Missing Person:

In order to register your missing loved one with our agency, we ask that you contact us directly at 1-800-690-FIND. If you are not located in the United States or Canada, you can reach us by calling +1-602-749-2000. You may also email us at for assistance.

When contacting us you will be assisted by a Family Advocate that will provide initial information and resources to you. If we are able to assist you, you will be asked to complete a Biographical form providing your contact information, descriptive and personal information about the missing person and contact information for the law enforcement agency handling the case, including the case number. You will also be asked to provide a photograph of the missing individual. Once your case has been assessed a Case Manager may be assigned to you.

Due to issues of privacy not all individuals reported to this agency can be assisted. Upon submitting the registration forms to this agency we will make every attempt to verify the information provided is true and correct. In this attempt we will contact the investigating law enforcement agency to verify the case information.

Parent Flyer Tool
Parent Instructions

This section of BeyondMissing allows a parent to create a Missing Child flyer.

During the flyer creation process, you have the option to translate the flyer into Spanish.

You will be able to go back into your flyer at any time to modify the information or update the photos.

Before You Start

Is your child a toddler? Have you searched the entire house? Toddlers can and will get into spaces that any adult would not even think about going into. Check crawl spaces, under beds, closets, and so on.

Is your child a pre-teen or teen? Have you checked with friends and their family members? Could there be some school activities that you are not aware of? BeyondMissing recommends that you take logical, age appropriate actions to locate your missing child.

If Your Child Is Still Missing

Immediately call 911. Contact all law enforcement (police, sheriff, state police, FBI, any adjoining jurisdictional law enforcement, and store/mall security forces). Request that your child's case be entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
Contact media assignment desks to inform them that your child is missing. If you still have not located your child, BeyondMissing recommends that you contact regional or national child locater services. see our Links section.

If your child has run away, immediately contact the National Runaway Hotline (also known as the National Runaway Switchboard). National Runaway Switchboard (800) 621-4000

Additional information may be available from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) (800) THE-LOST or (800) 843-5678

Create your own Missing Child flyer using the BeyondMissing Parent Flyer Tool.

If you have a loved one who isn’t listed on our forum please contact us and we will add them. To see if they are listed click here.

For more helpful tips and articles see our Main Forum Here.
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