Missing Persons Guide
Missing Child or Endangered Adult
A child is under the age of 17. An Endangered Adult is a person who, regardless of age, is mentally incapacitated or in need of medicine or medical attention.
Do not wait 48 hours to report your child missing. There is no time limit that you must wait to report a person as missing, whether he/she is considered missing or a runaway.
Call the North Miami Police at 305-891-8111 immediately.
Persons other than children or teens who are considered missing are handled by the local police stations. If you feel the situation is serious, please dial 911 or call directly into the North Miami Police Department at 305-891-8111.
In the event that a child is missing, a parent or guardian should take these steps to help law enforcement search for and identify the child.
Keep a Complete Description
A description includes the color of the hair, eyes, height, weight, and date of birth. Also include anything that might help identify your child such as eyeglasses, braces, marks, and scars.
Have a Color Photograph of Your Child
Have an updated color photograph of your child available. Head and shoulder photos are preferable. Update the photograph every six months.
Have Your Dentist Prepare Dental Charts
Make sure that your dentist prepares and maintains accurate and up-to-date dental charts and x-rays on your child as part of his or her routine dental visits. If you move, make sure to request a copy for yourself and your new dentist.
Know Where Your Child's Medical Records Are Located
Medical records, particularly x-rays, can be invaluable tools in helping to identify your child. It is important to have all scars, blemishes, and broken bones recorded. Ask your doctor where these files are located and how to obtain them if the need arises.
If you believe your child is missing, it is critical that you act immediately. If the child is missing from your home, search the house. You should check closets, piles of laundry, under the beds, inside old refrigerators-anywhere a child could crawl or hide. Check the immediate area around your house, backyard, and garage. Check with neighbors and friends of the child. If you cannot find your child, immediately call the police at 911.
If you are at a shopping mall or department store, immediately notify the store manager or security office and ask for assistance in finding your child. After this, immediately telephone the police at 911.
Filing a Report
When talking with the police, remain calm, give the police your name and address, and advise them that you want to report your child missing. Give police a full description of your child and the clothing your child was last wearing. The dispatcher broadcasts the description to units in the field. The dispatcher then dispatches a police car to your location. All calls will be answered promptly. However, police responses may be expedited if any of these unusual circumstances exist:
- The child is younger than 7 years of age
- Your child is mentally incapacitated or in need of medicine or medical attention
- You find evidence of foul play or the child is with an adult who you think might harm the child
After the Report Has Been Filed
Once a report is initiated, if any of the above circumstances exist, the Shift Commander will make a determination if a command post -a nearby base of operations - is warranted. The Shift Commander makes careful consideration of all the facts surrounding the disappearance of your child.
If a command post is established, an immediate search for your child will commence. A North Miami Detective will respond to the scene and an immediate investigation begins. Once a command post is established it will not be disbanded without the prior approval of the Shift Commander or until the child has been located.
If no command post has been established, the case is directed to the North Miami Investigative Section and your case is assigned to a detective for a follow-up investigation.