Ask BAMFI: When Should a Missing Person Report be Filed?

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  • *Note*: Persons of color make up 40 percent of all missing persons cases. To assist families of the missing navigate through this often confusing and traumatic process in finding their loved ones, Black and Missing Foundation will feature a monthly column on to educate readers on what to do when a loved one is missing, whom to contact, how best to assist law enforcement and the media, and steps to take on keeping loved ones safe.

    Question:  If my loved one is missing, do I wait 24 to 72 hours before filing a police report?
    BAMFI: Many people believe that you must wait 24 to 72 hours before reporting someone missing.  That is a MYTH!

    Time is of the essence.  In fact, the first 24 hours is the most important time frame to locate a missing person. It is important to provide law enforcement with information as quickly as possible to help find your missing love one – especially if they are a child, elderly or deemed ‘critical’.

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