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Monday, June 16, 2014

The thrill of the hunt

One of our specialized services is locating people. This service is performed on a regular basis with much success for business and individual clients. One of the most common requests received are to locate estranged family members. Whether it is a child or grandchild, most just want the peace of mind that the person is OK. However, domestic locates have myriad liability issues.

Why won’t you help me find…

We are frequently asked why we do not always accept domestic locate cases.  Although we try to vet the client’s reasoning as thoroughly as possible. There is always the chance hidden agendas could be missed. We do not want our skills to be the reason someone is harmed. Nor would we want to hear about harm coming to someone because of the lead that we provided.

Most people are not trying to erase themselves from society as much as they’ve just relocated. Good investigators can easily find most people. Why the person relocated is as much a question as where they are. Some people do not want to be found or do not want to be found by particular person/s/. Defining the reason the client wants to locate the person can be tricky.  The problem lies in the fact that there are people in the world who wish to do harm to others.

Our policy is to find the individual, introduce the situation to them, and let them decide whether or not to contact the client. We do not provide the client with the person’s information until that permission is granted. In most cases, if the sought after person wanted to speak to the client they would not have gone into hiding in the first place. We have lost potential clients due to this policy. Besides our own moral standards, the United States has a very litigious environment. We cannot put ourselves in a position to be sued because of someone else’s desire to harm.


            The best moments come from the client’s emotional reaction to the find as well as the difficulty of the search. Here are some of our proudest successes.
The original owner of a 1954 class ring had ordered the ring but left school prior to receiving it. The ring traveled from Indiana and eventually ended up in the personal collection of a Maryland resident. Never really giving it a close inspection, the present owner was examining the female ring under a magnifying glass and noticed the tiny markings of a high school.  Working only off the high school name, graduation year, and initials, we were able to locate the original owner and return the ring. The original owner fell on difficult times during high school and never thought she’d ever see the ring. When she answered the telephone and heard the story, her elation and gratefulness were well worth the effort.

            A businessman sought the current contact information of a former partner from the 1980’s in order to close out old files. He came to us with a name, occupation, possible location (in 1984), and that the person was a runner up in a state beauty pageant. Through archival pageant, marriage, and newspaper records from the 1960’s we located enough information to piece together a timeline to the present. Corroborating that information we were able to locate one highly probable person, putting the client in touch with the former partner.

         We’ve located persons who defaulted on payments, former employees, and condo owners who have changed their contact information. There are many instances where a person is sought outside of a domestic issue. You don’t know your chances of locating people until you talk to professionals.