• The Southwestern

Procedure & criteria for reporting adult missing persons

Updated: Jun 18


Photo by Wix media

By Chief Kendra Brown

For The Southwestern


Last week I discussed the Amber Alert requirements for a missing endangered child. Now I would like to discuss adult missing persons. Specifically, I will be discussing missing adults.


Law enforcement can enter a missing person into the NCIC system. This system, which began in 1975 allows a person under 21 to be entered, or a person that is 21 that meet certain criteria. Criteria may include: the person went missing after a major event (murder in the house, tornado), are endangered, or have a disability (either physical or mental). The NCIC is helpful in the fact that if someone in Weatherford gets entered as missing, and law enforcement pulls over a car in California and runs a passenger’s name through NCIC, that person can be recovered. The system communicates with all law enforcement departments. January started with almost 90,000 people entered into NCIC as a missing person, according to the FBI.


Why does someone go missing? That’s often a question we can never answer. I have heard of cases where a hiker falls, person gets attacked by an animal, kidnapped, are depressed, crashes in a remote area or body of water, is murdered, is fleeing their current life to start a new identity, is a runaway juvenile, and passes away of natural causes. If you are interested in looking at some currently open cases, the following are links to both Oklahoma and national missing persons databases:


www.osbi.ok.gov/ and www.fbi.gov/wanted/vicap/missing-persons.


Next week we will look at Silver Alerts and missing senior citizens. If you believe someone on campus to be missing, please contact SWOSU PD at 580-774-3111.

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