The moment that you realize that your teenage son or daughter is missing and you believe he or she might have run away from home, it can be intense and frightening. You may panic and experience a variety of thoughts and emotions about your child’s safety and wonder what you should do next. There are concrete steps you can take to find your child’s whereabouts. The following are among the most important.

runaway teen missing

Contact those who know your child.

Obviously this includes friends of your child, but you also want to speak to the parents of your child’s friends as well. If your teenager has a job, you should contact them and also the school they attend. The idea is to determine who was the last known person to speak or see your child before they went missing. You also want to determine the last place they were seen. This provides a starting point in the search for your missing teen, when you contact the authorities.

Do a search of their room.

What you are looking for is what they likely took with them. The amount of clothes they took will be a clue as to how long your teenager plans to be gone. It is common for teens to run away for a short time, but plan to return quickly. There may be items that they left behind that have great meaning to them, and this may indicate that running away was a decision done on impulse, so they may not be gone for too long.

Contact the police.

All of the information you have gathered from your child’s friends, their job and school can be given to the police. You will also need to provide a recent photograph of your teenager to the police, so have this ready. Even if you think your child will be back in the next day or two, if your teenager is a minor, you must contact the police. You could be wrong, and their assistance can be invaluable in getting your teenage back.

Use the services of a private investigator.

The police have a heavy case load when it comes to runaway teenagers, so the time they put into finding your teenage son or daughter is going to be limited. The best course of action is to call a private investigator, and the sooner you do this, the better the chances are that your teenager will be found. The trail will still be warm. Unlike the police, we are not overloaded with trying to find criminals. We are focused on a more narrow range of services, and locating people is one of them. If your teenager has run away from home, there is a very good chance we can locate him or her as part of a missing persons investigation.

One of the most difficult issues with a runaway teen is getting them to return home. If found, we can speak to your teen and find out what the issue is, so you are better able to work with your child to solve any family issues that will prevent a recurrence of running away from home. After you have contacted the police and they are confident that your missing teenager is not a criminal matter, give us a call immediately. Based upon the information you provide, we can let you know what our firm can do to help locate your missing child.

The following two tabs change content below.

Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.