How to Fill Out a Missing Persons Report in Florida

By Galina Tishchenko

Florida code of criminal procedures describes a missing person as somebody whose temporary or permanent residence is in, or is believed to be in, this state and whose location has not been determined. A missing child is defined as a person under 18 years of age whose location can not be determined. This article will help you fill out a missing persons report and assist with finding your near and dear.

Check with all the missing person's known colleagues, friends, acquaintances and relatives to see if they have seen or heard from the missing. This will determine if he or she is actually missing, as crimestoppersmostwanted.com recommends. This will also help narrow down the time frame of disappearance.

Call local emergency rooms, morgues and prisons. You can find helpful information online, including your county's sheriff's office. That website might be a good place to start. These sites usually put up accident reports as well as information on who has been imprisoned.

File a police report. Missing persons report forms are not available online, you need to file one in person. File the report with either the local police office or sheriff's office.

Be as specific as possible about the physical description of the person. Provide age, weight and height in as close to reality as you can. This is not the time to be shy or cautious about such details. A recent picture will help best. Note that the physical characteristics might change with time, as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website explains.

Provide as much information about the missing person as you can, whether authorities have asked for the information or not.Provide everything about contacts, most recent possible locations (bars and strip clubs included). Include the missing person's habits, moods, plans and recent events in life.

Tell about all known medical conditions (including embarrassing ones) and all known medications the person takes regularly. Notify officers if the missing person's life or health might be endangered.

After filing the report, request the case number, the assigned officer's name and direct contact information.

Request that the officer enter the missing person's information into the National Crime Information Center's database and ask for the NIC number, crimestoppersmostwanted.com recommends. This Web site also advises to notify the National Center for Missing Adults and Florida clearinghouse.

About the Author

Galina Tishchenko is a journalist of Russian decent with a Master's degree in media studies from the University of South Florida St Petersburg. She has worked for the USF St Petersburg student newspaper "The Crow's Nest" and interned with WFLA NewsChannel-8 investigative reporting team. She has written for the Tampa Tribune and tbo.com. She has been a writer and a journalist since 2005.