My colleague, Kim Anklin, heard a law enforcement official make a statement about a missing person’s investigation they were handling regarding the disappearance of a child. This individual was stating to the media that they were currently treating the case as a missing person’s case, but were also bringing in Cadaver dogs. Kim reacted to this statement by asking: “Once again so many of these types of cases center on the same theme, why can’t they treat a missing person’s case as a homicide until it’s proven otherwise?”
I think this raises a valid point. When an individual goes missing, especially a child, why not treat the case as a homicide until the evidence or facts prove differently. The protocols for a homicide investigation and a missing person investigation are different. Why not utilize the experience and expertise of a team of homicide investigators to conduct the investigation they same way they would if they had a body? With their experience and expertise also comes the full resources of the department they work for. Maybe this would increase the chances of finding the missing person alive.
Of course many will argue this is an impossibility, citing budgetary issues, manpower, overtime and other already stretched thin resources. Believe me I have heard it all before as a former law enforcement officer and homicide detective. I do know from past experiences that missing person’s cases and homicides are not investigated the same way. However, perhaps we should take another look at how we investigate a missing person case.
Again this is just our opinion. What’s yours?
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