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LACMEC: What to Do If Your Child Is Missing
Contact your local law enforcement IMMEDIATELY!
Often the first 24 hours are the most critical for locating a missing child.
- If the child is missing from home, begin by thoroughly searching the house. Be sure to check any places a child could crawl, hide, and possibly fall asleep.
- If your child disappears when you are away from home -- at a shopping center, for example -- notify the manager of the store and the security office. Request assistance in finding your child. Then telephone the police immediately.
- If your child has run away, contact friends of the child; chances are good they've confided their plans to a friend. This information should be provided to law enforcement.
- When talking with law enforcement, try to stay calm. Identify yourself, and give your location. Ask that an officer be sent to take a report on your missing child.
- Be prepared to give descriptive information on your child including name, height, weight, and date of birth. Also provide information on specific identifiers such as eyeglasses, braces, pierced ears, and a description of the clothing your child was last seen wearing.
- Listen carefully to the instructions of the police and respond to their questions.
- Request that your child be immediately entered into the National Crime Information Center's (NCIC) Missing Person File. This will assist other law enforcement agencies in identifying your child if they are located in another community. An NCIC entry for a missing child is required by state and federal law.
- Contact the Louisiana Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children by calling 1-800-434-8007.
- Contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by calling their nationwide toll free number 1-800-THE-LOST.