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When working on a missing persons case it's important for the investigator to think out side of the box and explore every possible avenue of investigation. Many investigators working a missing persons case would not even consider using an asset search investigation as part of the locate or skip trace. But if you consider the benefits of an asset search you'll see how it can be useful in locating a missing person.
Usually when working a missing persons case the investigator will use a data base search or banking and credit headers but will not delve further into the assets of an individual at all. They will interview coworkers, friends family and neighbors. They will check into mail forwarding at the post office and even check with the leasing agent or landlord but will not take the next step of ordering a financial asset search investigation. While this report will probably contain more valuable information that every other investigative avenue mentioned here.
A brief list of just a few things that can be uncovered with a financial asset search investigation:
- Real Estate
- Investments: Stocks / Bonds / Mutual Funds
- Bank Accounts: Checking and Savings
- Trust Accounts
As you can see most of the information listed above will include addresses, cities, states, employment locations, DMV information. all of this information can be used to locate a missing person or hard to locate skip trace investigation. Even a person that has gone off the grid and is living a nomadic lifestyle may still have debts or judgments, liens, bankruptcies, city state or federal fines. All of this data will have clues to their present locations.
Once you have narrowed the search down to a general geographic location through the use of the financial asset search investigation you can begin a more methodical search of court records, inmate searches and even local library searches can uncover news paper articles that may mention the subject of your investigation. Most of this can be done without the subject of the investigation ever being aware that they're being investigated or that someone is trying to locate them. However if you don't mind the person knowing you are trying to find them an even more aggressive approach can be attempted. This involves placing ads on the Internet and in local newspapers, contacting churches, social services and many other methods too numerous to list here but shall be covered in a future article in this missing persons series.A financial asset search investigation is a valuable tool in a missing persons case and should not be overlooked. In fact it should be one of the first steps that the investigator attempts in locating a missing person.