Running away is not a crime. The Brown County Sheriff’s Office is very willing to assist you in finding your child.
- Finding and recovering a runaway child depends greatly on the active and aggressive participation of the parent / guardian.
- Searching for your child may seem overwhelming and a parent may feel completely lost as how to search or where to start.
Contact the Sheriff's Office and Make a Report
- There is not a waiting period for you to report a runaway/missing child.
- You will complete and sign a Missing Person Certification form.
- This form grants the Sheriff’s Office permission to enter the child into a national database (National Crime Information Center); If an officer anywhere in the country runs a check on the child, a ‘hit’ will come up advising the officer of the runaway status.
- Make a list of all friends, associates and classmates and start calling. Who is the boyfriend / girlfriend and where do they live?
- This lets your runaway know that you are hot on their trail and are serious about finding them.
- Last names, phone numbers and addresses are a great help if you have something you would like the investigators to help with.
- Many runaways are trained by other runaways and will tell your child to take date books and photos with them or destroy them.
- The runaway may clear all telephone numbers from a cellular telephone databank so that you won’t call their friends.
- Document the names of the parents and tell the parents that you absolutely do not give permission for your runaway to stay or live anywhere except home.
- Because running away is not a crime, court orders for cellular records cannot be obtained.
- If the cellular telephone that your runaway might be using is in your name, you can get the call and text records without a court order.
- Most companies only keep text records for a short period of time so the sooner you can make the request the better the chance of obtaining the record before they are deleted.
- You may know several of the runaway’s friends who may be able to give you more information.
- Let the investigator know if the runaway has used or is using drugs.
- List what the runaway enjoys to do in his/her spare time. Has the runaway talked about places where he/she had fun?
- How many changes of clothing did they take with them?
- Any food, credit/ATM cards, or money taken with them?
- Cellular telephone (tell investigator the number and who the service provider is)?
- Make up (cosmetics) or miscellaneous items missing? (IPod, bicycle, IPad, Laptop, etc.)
- Check the computer history. You may find if information you were unaware of, such as a bus ticket purchased, etc.
- Search for e-mail to friends and messages about running away, or personal issues.
- Check long distance telephone bills.
- Contact the school to obtain attendance history.
- The school staff and resource officers may know of friends that you don’t.
- Is your runaway expecting a paycheck soon?
- Are there any work associates you are not aware of?
- What is the work history like? Any unexcused absences or calling in sick?
- Many runaways will sneak home to take food, money or get more clothing. Many times they do not come alone.
- Is there any way to secure your home and know if the runaway was there while you are at work or away
- It is the parent/guardian's responsibility to contact the investigator assigned to the case every 30 days to validate the child is still missing
- If this fails to happen, and the investigator loses contact with the parent/guardian for any significant period of time the case may be closed
- if you have been working with an investigator on your child's case, please contact the investigative division to inform them of their return,
- Investigative phone number- (920)448-4230