Investigations

About 

Night Owl Reconnaissance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers free services to families and friends of missing persons. Services must be requested by the guardians, partners, and family members. We do not charge for our services. 

How Cases Unfold 

Missing person investigations are rarely restricted to just one jurisdiction or investigative authority. As such, the assigned investigators working in missing person investigations often collaborate with various law enforcement elements and nonprofit groups. 

Going missing is not a crime; every person has the right to be left alone. For these reasons, law enforcement can be limited in conducting these sorts of investigations. In circumstances wherein suspicious circumstances or evidence of foul play exists, law enforcement can investigate just like any other criminal activity. Similarly, in cases where the missing person is “endangered” due to medical problems or life-threatening situations, police will classify these are ‘critical’ cases. 

These cases are input into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) under the following six categories: 

  • Juvenile 
  • Endangered 
  • Involuntary 
  • Disability 
  • Catastrophe 

Typically, once a missing person is found by a law enforcement organization, only the person who filed the initial report is notified. It should be noted, however, that law enforcement cannot disclose the location or whereabouts of the missing person without his or her consent. 

By volume, most missing person cases are solved within days or weeks. However, without new data, tips, or leads some investigations may go on for months or years. Put bluntly, the police are often overloaded with other cases and older cases receive less attention. Additionally, missing persons cases are often the most difficult to solve. In these situations, many families are referred to private investigators to assist in the search, which is often beyond the financial ability of most people. 

How NOR Cases Are Investigated 

We have pioneered specialized techniques for developing new or previously uncovered information on missing persons and human trafficking cases. By leveraging those methods with our optimized fact-finding playbook, our field investigators are able to gather all possible data. Detailed information is obtained through the use of multiple databases, collection aggregation platforms, and open-source techniques. We go beyond surface-level social media data to analyze social circles, habits, hobbies, interests, potential witnesses as well as the pattern of life and spatial analysis. 

Night Owl Reconnaissance recognizes the exponential power of goodwill and as such we can rally our volunteer investigators for immediate digital and physical canvassing. Additionally, we pair with our law enforcement partners to assist with providing extra investigative and search capabilities when possible. By engaging social media, our network of non-profit organizations, and local community groups we can quickly dispatch graphical missing persons posters and alert local communities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. 

Our investigative process is designed to uncover common reasons that may contribute to the disappearance of a missing person, confirm the facts surrounding the disappearance, and make additional discoveries. 

Whatever the odds, just because someone is missing, does not mean that they cannot be found.