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Anyone used an online search service for missing person?

Diane

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I am trying to help a friend find her 46 year old daughter who left the area about 15 years ago. Trail stops in TN and no online record of death or the like. I do have the woman's social security number and I see several services that offer to trace using a social security number. Cost usually runs around $40. Just wondered whether such a service might have better access to records than are available online. For the price it has to be a pretty automated service.

Thanks for any help.
Diane
 

Kay H

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I'd be leary of giving a SS# to an unknown computerized service. You don't know who is at the other end and what they are going to do with the #.
 

wackymother

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Do you have any friends in law enforcement? I would ask them for advice. If you have the Social Security number, then the person should be findable. Good luck!
 

Diane

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Two good ideas. I had not thought of the pitfalls of giving an online service the social security number. And, will try to think if I, or someone we know, knows anyone in law enforcement.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

Diane
 

pjrose

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An attorney I know subscribes to a service that lets him look up anybody. It may be the same type of information law enforcement would get. If the woman isn't being sought for any kind of criminal reason, law enforcement might not get involved, however an attorney could probably do the search.

Also, check myspace and facebook - who knows, maybe she is on one of them!
 

DaveNV

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I've had pretty good luck Googling a person's name, then tunneling down through the website links. I've found several former Navy buddies all these years later based on websites that were about things my friends enjoyed. (HAM radio, online gaming, and so forth.) It takes a bit of work, but it's worth a try. I found three of my best former friends that way.

You may also try using the Mormon Church's online genealogy search page, at www.familysearch.org. They also have a SS# Death Index search, so you can confirm the person is still alive.

Try online phone book sites, or doing a reverse search on the last phone number her mother has for her. Try searvching for any industry websites related to a career she may have had, or sites for her line of work in the last city you knew she lived in. Online newspaper sites can be a good resource, too. With a little creative thinking, it's fairly easy to track someone down these days.

Good luck!

Dave
 

laura1957

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The more unusual the person's name is the easier any search will be. I have had luck with googling for old friends, also have you tried zabasearch.com ?? I have also had a lot of luck with that.

The benefit of zaba is that sometimes the age and birthdate are listed right on list of "possible matches". I have found a friend who I lost track of overr 30 years ago with zaba - and I KNEW it was her by her birthday. It saved a lot of time rather than following every googled link.
 

laura1957

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as someone suggested - try myspace, facebook, classmates, my yearbood, reunion...

This is the kind of thing I like doing in my spare time at work!! I am sitting at a computer all day so I have extra time to search out old friends :)
 

wackymother

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I've had pretty good luck Googling a person's name, then tunneling down through the website links. I've found several former Navy buddies all these years later based on websites that were about things my friends enjoyed. (HAM radio, online gaming, and so forth.) It takes a bit of work, but it's worth a try. I found three of my best former friends that way.

You may also try using the Mormon Church's online genealogy search page, at www.familysearch.org. They also have a SS# Death Index search, so you can confirm the person is still alive.

Try online phone book sites, or doing a reverse search on the last phone number her mother has for her. Try searvching for any industry websites related to a career she may have had, or sites for her line of work in the last city you knew she lived in. Online newspaper sites can be a good resource, too. With a little creative thinking, it's fairly easy to track someone down these days.

Good luck!

Dave

You can sign up for a free two-week trial at Ancestry.com. I've found some things there.

It's usually pretty easy to find a man via Google and regular online sources--unfortunately it's much more difficult to find a woman. Women change their names so much more frequently than men. I can find male friends from years ago...but many women friends have disappeared into the ether, especially as they get older and go on to second or third marriages or divorces or widowhood.

That's why it's GREAT that the OP has the Social Security number. It's difficult to really disappear in this country from an SSN perspective. If the woman has worked on the books or filed taxes, both of which are pretty difficult to avoid, then her SSN is on file somewhere.

Another place to try is classmates.com. It's surprising how many people sign up for that. Or, if your friend's DD went to college or HS, they will forward a message to an alum if they have the contact info. (They won't give the contact info to you directly. They might tell you if they have a record of her death, though.) Lots of people stay in touch with their old schools. For high schools, people sometimes send info for reunions and so the school might have a record of last known address.
 

flexible

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I am trying to help a friend find her 46 year old daughter who left the area about 15 years ago. Trail stops in TN and no online record of death or the like. I do have the woman's social security number <snipped>Thanks for any help.
Diane

Quite a while ago, I read that the Social Security Administration could forward a letter to the address they have on file. I do not know if that was or is still true, but I would check with them.
 

wackymother

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You might also try variations on her FIRST name. Sometimes women do that. If her name is, say, Laura, she might switch to Lara, Lauren, Lori, Laurie....or if she has always gone by a certain nickname (like Betty for Elizabeth), she might switch to another (like Eliza or Beth).

I found someone with a pretty common last name when I realized she had gone from being a Kathy to being a Kate. The last name had stayed the same.

Oh, I just thought of something else--look for her using her middle name rather than her first name, if she's always gone by her first name. Her mother would know her middle name, of course.
 
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Diane

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Thanks for so many helpful suggestions. I have had an interesting time pursuing so many new avenues of search. Unfortunately, without finding the person. What I do find indicates the following:

[Personal details removed - mg]

I do have her Social Security number and learned that SS will forward letters only in limited circumstances like a large inheritance or death in the family.

At this point I am trying to figure out if it is possible to get access to credit bureau files. Any ideas?

I am most grateful for all the help and suggestions.

Diane
 
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Jbart74

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Just curious, does Sherry have a reason to try to NOT be found? I've started searching a little. I'm usually pretty succesful with this sort of thing but so far nada. Do you have any more info on her? High School, College, hobbies, interests, etc... If you'd like me to dig deeper feel free to PM with as much info as you have. Or you can post it here if you want everyone's help and involvement. I can only assume there many other Tuggers doing their own searches based on the little info you have provided. But more info will help, and I'm afraid, will be necessary to locate Sherry based upon my initial search. :confused:
 

MULTIZ321

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Diane,

Did you try the phone number that's listed w/ Sherry's name on the Zaba search?


Richard
 

philemer

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Maybe Sherry doesn't want to be found. Be careful. :)
 

Diane

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Yes, I tried the phone number. It had been disconnected. And, yes, I suspect Sherry does not want to be found. This all started with Sherry's mother expressing concern about whether she was still alive or dead and my volunteering to try to find that out. If the search is successful and I learn that she is alive but does not want to be found, I will tell her mother that, of course.

The article linked was very helpful. I plan to try the 3 day trial of the one ranked #1 at a time when Sherry's mother can be with me at the computer and help me with the questions.

The only other info I have (beside Social Security number which I will pm to Jbart74 and anyone else willing to help with this), is:

1. Her mother thinks she may have used the last names [deleted] at times.

2. She went to high school in Okinawa while her father was in the military there. The mother is not sure of the spelling of the name of the high school it put pronounces it coup-pah-sah'-kee.

3. She has two sons, [deleted] now 19 and [deleted] 23-24.

4. She left the sons in the care of her sister in Albuquerque about 15 years ago. She made a couple of minor finanacial contributions toward their care at first and left town shortly after being asked for more. No word since.

5. Her father's name is [deleted] and her mother's full name is [deleted].

6. Her mother knows of no nick names or other names she used in the past.

7. Her mother describes her as gullible and probably involved in drugs, at least in the past.

If you think of questions I can ask her mother for more information, please let me know. We are both very appreciative of your help.

Diane
 
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swift

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The only other info I have (beside Social Security number which I will pm to Jbart74 and anyone else willing to help with this), is:


I would be careful about sending out someone elses SS#. You could get yourself into a lot of trouble if something came about because of it. JMO
 

wackymother

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Life is hard, isn't it? You hear a story like this and you just want to cry. Good luck to you and to Sherry's mother....
 

philemer

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I would be careful about sending out someone elses SS#. You could get yourself into a lot of trouble if something came about because of it. JMO

Yes, Diane, you could be opening yourself to a lawsuit. I'd back out of this now and let the Mom take over. We live in a litigious society. Just my 2 cents.
 

Jbart74

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Just to keep everyone out of trouble, and calm, I have neither recorded nor used Sherry's SS# in any of my searching. I did not ask for it, but it was offered. Again, I am not using it, nor have I recorded it, nor do I intend to use it in the future. :cool:
 

sfwilshire

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I was going to suggest contacting the local Postal Service there until I read she might be in hiding. Bristol TN is not a huge town and it's amazing how postal workers know everybody. They might be reluctant to give you too much information, but they might deliver a message. You might even try mailing a letter to her last known address. It just might get delivered to her if she's still in the area.

I tried to visit my Mother's old homeplace once. I thought I'd be able to drive right to it, but things had changed a lot in the 15 years or so since I'd been there. I couldn't find it. I contacted the local Postmaster and told her what I remembered. She checked with the mail carrier for the area, who sent me very specific directions. The next time I was in the area I drove right to it.

Sheila
 
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KCI

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Are you sure SS will not try contacting her for her mother? I do not think they would do it except for blood relatives. We had a similar situation in our family and I contacted SS and they told me to write a letter to the individual, put it in an unsealed envelope and mail it to SS. They would read it, and finding no threats against the individual, etc. they would then forward it to the last known address in their records for that person and the person would then have the option of contacting the person searching for them or not. I never got to do it because I found another avenue to pursue, which resulted in a reunion. I had tried online search places but if the person you are searching for moves frequently, uses alias, has no credit, etc to track then it is virtually impossible to find them. I hired a private detective who gave up eventually when the trail hit a dead end. However, he really had located the person but didn't realize it. He said the trail ended at a motel in FL but as it turned out the person I was seeking actually worked at the motel instead of being a guest. My heart goes out to your friend as I know from 1st hand experience how difficult it is not knowing what has become of someone you care about. Good luck in your search.
 

Diane

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Update

Sherry's mother just called me. She received an email from Sherry this morning and is beside herself. We were so afraid that after 17 years Sherry might not be alive so this is almost unbelievable. This came about with the leads and help of several TUGGERS here.

We contacted one very promising lead found by John, but that turned out not to be the right right Sherry.

Using Net Detective, I entered Sherry's last known address into the reverse address lookup. The name of a man came up who has the same last name as one Sherry had used since leaving 17 years ago. I could not find a telephone number for him so I helped Sherry's mother write a letter to him asking him to call her if he has had any contact with Sherry over the past 17 years. He did not call, even though we included money to cover the call, but forwarded the letter and money to Sherry who emailed her mother this morning.

Sherry said she is not ready to talk, that she is mailing the money back to her mother, that she had her reasons for leaving, is doing well and does not want her mother to worry. Sherry asked that for now they keep in contact just by email and see what develops.

I was very happy to hear this, of course. Does anyone see any risks in this? Like, might this not really be Sherry emailing? Any advice at this time?

Thank you all so much!

Diane
 
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