In the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) publication “When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide” they offer this advice:
If the immediate search is not successful, you may be tempted to try almost anything. Some parents turn to private detectives to aid in the search. Consider hiring a private detective or investigator only if you are convinced that he or she can do something better or different than what is being done by law enforcement. Be certain that you are not simply wasting money that could be spent more productively in another way. If you decide to use a private detective, the following tips can help:
- Always ask for and check references to find out if the investigator is legitimate.
- Be wary of people who say they can bring your child back immediately for a specific sum of money. If you run into this situation, report it to law enforcement.
- Make sure you are paying a reasonable rate. Insist that the investigator itemize expenses.
- Make sure the detective has experience working with law enforcement. Law enforcement must be notified immediately of any leads you receive from a private investigator.
Inform your assigned law enforcement investigator about your decision to hire a private investigator. In most instances, this individual will need to talk to law enforcement before becoming involved in the case.
At the Project Jason-Voice for the Missing site the topic was discussed earlier in April in a special guest post.
What you should know if you are seriously considering hiring a private investigator.
You have made the decision to hire a private investigator. What do you need to know?