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Ask HN for help to find a missing person
7 points by jbbarnes 1752 days ago | hide | past | web | 6 comments | favorite
Hi guys,

I have a friend who's brother lives in Canada and has been missing for 3 weeks. When I say missing he has not returned calls (his phone is off), he hasn't been online (as far as she can tell) and the family does not know his friends v well (he's recently moved to Canada). They've messaged his FB friends to no avail.

Need any inspiration you may have - how do you find someone who is missing? I am sure he is ok but the family are understandably worried. He is known to be unreliable but not as bad as this. Any advice you may have would be great.


Contact your local police department. They should ask you some questions, and evaluate whether it is something they can act on. If you are concerned enough to ask on here, you probably have reason to ask for help.

Good luck, and don't ignore your gut feelings.

how do you find someone who is missing?

Amass all the data I can about someone (personal details, online handles, trickery, etc) and crunch data.

HN really isn't a good forum for this, you should try http://reddit.com/r/rbi/ or similar.

If you do post a request there, make sure you post plenty of details to go off of, otherwise you're wasting their time.

Alternatively, comb /r/rbi for techniques and go off on your own. They're a bunch of amateurs over there, but they're somewhat effective :)

Ok since you are on HN let me tell you a hack that I learnt here.

Order him a pizza from a local pizza place near your friend's house with your credit card. Get the pizza guy on the phone when he is at your friend's address. This way you will at least know if he is at home and maybe talk to him if he is there. You can even make the pizza guy ask the neighbours or leave a note on his door. Dont forget to tip the pizza guy through paypal or something.

If he wants to be missing, there might not be much you can do. If you know where he lives, you can find someone in the area to knock on his door and check if he's there. In some cases you can also call the non-emergency line of the local police and ask for a "welfare check" where they will drop by and check on the person. If the family suspects something is wrong, they can file a missing persons report with the police.

There have been recent articles about police finding offenders by using Pintrest. Perhaps you can do something similar. I would suggest organizing an online campaign to disseminate your friends brothers image. Local distribution of his image will help as well, especially in stores. Ask if you can hang a sign in your friends brothers grocery store, CVS, etc etc.

I don't have an answer for you but I recommend checking reddit instead, seems more suited for this type of question.

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