Author Topic: How can I help with searching for missing people?  (Read 4305 times)

Walwyn

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How can I help with searching for missing people?
« on: March 27, 2011, 07:43:46 AM »
Hi, I'm a 36 year old man who has a disability that causes me not to be able to work.  Which means I have a lot of free time, and I would like to put that free time to good use.  Every time I see or hear about someone missing either a child or adult my heart goes out to the families.  I would love to be able to help in anyway possible, my disability doesn't effect my ability to walk.  I live in Toronto, and not sure where to go to volunteer to help with searching for the missing.  If anyone can point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it.  I'm also a photographer and really good with computers, so if my skills are of any use I am willing to put them to use.  I can't imagine what the families go through whenever a loved one disappears.  Please let me know where I can go to register for volunteer search teams.

Thank you.
Tim W
Toronto

Mom

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2011, 09:41:11 AM »
Kudos to you Tim.
The world is a better place, just because of you.

Big hugs,
 :)

lostlinganer

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2011, 10:47:05 AM »
Good for you Walwyn.  You will always find incidents here where a few members will actually get together and go out searching because they have gathered facts and police won't listen.  Either way, it is extremely satisfying for those of us not to lazy, or too intimidated, to go out there getting facts on our own.  I carry a camera 24/7,  and have learned plenty about the area I live in ... and about the criminal element here. 

You will notice as you get into the cases/threads here, it's publicized when/where there will be a search.  So if you are associated with family members of a victim on here, you can always ask to help in the search.  Some searches police only include "trained searchers".... guess that's to protect potential evidence.  I'm my opinion, when a child goes missing ...especially a child, ....but anyone for the matter.  I feel just get every available body you can, to get out there searching.  People seaching together are not likely to deliberately destroy or tamper with evidence.  (imo)  I hope you stay with us here. 




SAP

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2011, 12:22:10 PM »
Welcome Walwyn. Sometimes the missing persons cases don't always get noticed immeditely. You can check routinely with your local police dept on new Missing Persons cases and then offer your assistance. In some cases the public is asked for assistance. Kudos Walwyn. :)

Have you looked down the index page and found those missing in your general area?

FM

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2011, 12:32:10 PM »
Yes, good for you!

Can you get to the Reference Library to troll the newspaper archives? They have dozens of Canadian newspapers in the basement on microfische.

DEVASTATED

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2011, 12:40:19 PM »
Walwyn Wow good for you its nice to know we live in a world with wonderful caring people .The people on this site are such caring wonderful helpful people and Im thinking the majority of us have missing people in our lives I have one in my life and these caring people have helped me out greatly Thank you Walwayn
Thanks DEVASTATED

debbiec

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 01:19:02 PM »
Welcome Walwyn,

It's heartwarming to know that there are people like you out there, that are willing to step up to the plate and give of themselves. Great to have you here!  :)

lostlinganer

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011, 02:55:36 PM »
Walwyn; check your messages up top.

Angela Ellis

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2011, 04:51:51 PM »
Walwyn,

 The Doe Network is always looking for more volunteers to work on missing persons cases and we especially need people in Canada. If you are interested you can fill out our membership application here:
 http://www.doenetwork.org/Doe%20Network%20Volunteer%20Application.pdf

GSAR_Mbr

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 12:30:55 PM »
You will always find incidents here where a few members will actually get together and go out searching because they have gathered facts and police won't listen.  Either way, it is extremely satisfying for those of us not to lazy, or too intimidated, to go out there getting facts on our own.  I carry a camera 24/7,  and have learned plenty about the area I live in ... and about the criminal element here. 

Lostlinganer- Please do not take my comment here as negative towards what you are suggesting but I must note and advise you that when it seems like the police officials are doing nothing, that is rarely the case. Most times what the police are doing can not be released to the media or will not be released to the media. Also most times the Families know what is going on more so then the public but its the same token the Police keep them advised but request that the Family keep what the Police are doing out of the media.

You will notice as you get into the cases/threads here, it's publicized when/where there will be a search.  So if you are associated with family members of a victim on here, you can always ask to help in the search.

Are you refering to:
a.) Police planned/sanctioned Searches?
b.) Family lead Searches?
c.) Searches well after the fact?

Mod: Just wanted to make the reference to my note below... I agree offering to help is a great idea, just dont get upset if officials ask you not to/turn you away. There is a good reason even if they can not explain why to you.

Some searches police only include "trained searchers".... guess that's to protect potential evidence.  I'm my opinion, when a child goes missing ...especially a child, ....but anyone for the matter.  I feel just get every available body you can, to get out there searching.  People seaching together are not likely to deliberately destroy or tamper with evidence. 

Again please dont take me negatively Lostlinganer BUT what you are suggesting as a good/safe practice is not a good idea. Search & Rescue Trained Volunteers are Professionals who train regularily and pass background checks. Also its not a matter of deliberatly destroying evidence its the accidental part which can cause issues in the long run.

Personally I am a Search Manager with my local team and have logged 182+ Search Hours in the last 2 years, involved in 20+ Searches. Of those I have 3 out standing files where the subjects have not been located to date. 2 of which are presumed to have had water related accidents. In the last 4 years of being with the team I have only missed 2-3 Search Calls and that is because I was unable to get the time off work as there werent enough employees to cover my absence. Nothing bothers me more than when we have to "give up" because there is nothing more to go on and the areas have been extensively covered.

The problems with untrained civilian "volunteers" (I quoted volunteers because in canada all SAR members who arent Coast Guard/Military are unpaid volunteers) are the following:
1.) Some have no experience in the woods/out doors which can lead to us having more people to Search for.
2.) They are looking for a subject, we are looking for clues.
               There is only one Subject but millions of Clues
3.) When we are finished where I am from we have detailed paperwork with Detailed maps which have all the GPS tracks and clue locations to give to the AOJ(Agency of Jurisdiction)
4.) Our members come properly equiped, no running shoes and jeans.

In the past we have and still do add spontaneous volunteers to our teams, family members, friends, neighbors etc. However when doing so we are adding to the work load if our trained volunteers. We are responsible to maintain any evidence which may be present and untrained searchers unknowningly will contaminate the area. Each and every search is treated as a crime scene until proven otherwise because even though you can be 95% certain there is no crime you can not turn back the clock once you come across a subject that has been murdered.

Do not take me wrong I am not trying to deter any members from joining a local SAR team, or even volunteering to assist when they know a search is going on. What I am looking to do through this post is to educate those on this forum as to some of what goes on behind the scenes. As well as to the reasoning as to why people get turned away from a Search when they try to volunteer.

Searching for a missing person is a tremendous task and SAR teams are always looking for more members to help them out. Anyone in New Brunswick/Nova Scotia or PEI looking to join a SAR team PM me and I will help you get in touch with a local team. ** Note you have to be able to pass a criminal background check** I feel that is quite obvious but I am certain people who have murdered someone go onto forums like this and the last thing we want is them to join a team to stay in the loop about their "missing person"

Last but not least if you do get accepted to help on a Search or to join a team do not expect to have all the knowledge of an event. Searches run on a command structure. Only the people running the search have all the information. The people in the woods will be given as much as they need to effectively locate the missing person. This is to protect the family and the file because if it is a murder/suspicious the less details given out publically the more chance of finding the person who knows too much.

It has happened in the past that a woman was murdered and her assailant actually volunteered with the SAR team and unfortunately for him he was not on the team that located her body. Therefore when his DNA/fibers were found on her body and other corresponding evidence he had no excuse... and it helped convict him(Note this was before my time, but is used to explain why Search Managment can sometimes get picky with who we use on a Search as far as outside volunteers go!)

-GSAR_Mbr :)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 01:21:10 PM by GSAR_Mbr »

lostlinganer

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2011, 03:54:57 PM »
GSAR.... I know all that.... we all do!  I don't think anybody would be going on a search without "the sermon".  However, if I had someone missing I wouldn't want to wait for all the rig-a-monro ... especially if it's a child or someone ill.  I'd just hope and pray that everybody who could, would get out there looking.  It goes without saying that I would beg them to stay together, and lookout for each other.  I know the search and rescue people are second to none around this area ... when it comes to finding a lost person.  But I have seen several incidents where all areas were searched and the missing person's body showed up later deceased (in the area that had already been searched)  I wasn't giving Walwyn instructions "as what to do" ... I was giving him my opinion.  And I'll stick with my opinion.  I wouldn't want to be huddled in the woods freezing while the police and search parties are getting their stuff together, planning, and giving instructions.  The hours they take doing this is surely all I'd need to freeze to death before somebody finds me (or else I wander further and further into nowhere)  .... it's just my opinion.  I respect and value the Search and Rescue program.... I know it has a success track.  But I still have my own preference (opinion) which is why you see I put in imo when I posted the comment.

However, thank you for straightening out any rouge searchers that may be here.

GSAR_Mbr

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2011, 07:46:03 AM »
GSAR.... I know all that.... we all do!  I don't think anybody would be going on a search without "the sermon".  However, if I had someone missing I wouldn't want to wait for all the rig-a-monro ... especially if it's a child or someone ill.  I'd just hope and pray that everybody who could, would get out there looking.  It goes without saying that I would beg them to stay together, and lookout for each other.  I know the search and rescue people are second to none around this area ... when it comes to finding a lost person.  But I have seen several incidents where all areas were searched and the missing person's body showed up later deceased (in the area that had already been searched)  I wasn't giving Walwyn instructions "as what to do" ... I was giving him my opinion.  And I'll stick with my opinion.  I wouldn't want to be huddled in the woods freezing while the police and search parties are getting their stuff together, planning, and giving instructions.  The hours they take doing this is surely all I'd need to freeze to death before somebody finds me (or else I wander further and further into nowhere)  .... it's just my opinion.  I respect and value the Search and Rescue program.... I know it has a success track.  But I still have my own preference (opinion) which is why you see I put in imo when I posted the comment.

However, thank you for straightening out any rouge searchers that may be here.

Lostlinganer; I agree with you fully that each person is entitled to there opinion and I did note your "imo" :)
I wont sit here and argue the validity of your points/my points because both are equally correct. It does take SAR teams some time to deploy but this is because there are tactics used to locate a Missing person, same as when the police respond to an armed robbery or fire departements respond to a fire.

I can tell you that I have yet to be involved in a Search where the subject was located deceased due to the length of time it took Search & Rescue to find them. One note on your comment that the subject was found deceased in an area where GSAR had searched, we have had that happen here, the person was found beside a string line a SAR team had placed to show if anyone went through it. The subject was suicidal and circled around on the teams and purposely chose where a team had been and would be again. He was an avid hunter and knew the woods well.

I dont know the situation you speak of where the subject was located deceased but in my opinion if you wish to get a bunch of people and go into the woods you are risking that even more because you will have now trampled ever single clue which we are looking for, and tracking/air scent dogs will now be useless.

IMHO- Your better off to wait till the trained professionals get there AS LONG AS you know that the Police have activated them because SAR can not respond until the Police Agency in charge calls them

I am not dictating what you must do, just trying to educate others as to why rushing into the woods is a bad idea. The long and the short is we all want the same result and that is to have the lost/missing person back home safe:)

Sap1

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2016, 01:19:40 AM »
Walwyn, how have things been going for you? Have you registered with Angela Ellis' organization?

looking

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Re: How can I help with searching for missing people?
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2016, 11:16:33 PM »
I wanted to help also, without joining a search and rescue team.  I bought a dog and trained it myself as a cadaver dog. I haven't found any bodies yet, but I found clothing of a missing man.  Reported it to police.  Two days later, found his glasses near the same spot. The police then took it seriously and did a search by land, water and air for him. Even brought in a police dog. He wasn't found. But again I found a pill bottle with his name on it in the same area two weeks later.  The family now knows he is in the river.  They would never have known that for sure if I didn't do my own searching. The public can go ahead and help because there aren't enough people searching.  I don't know of anyone like myself who does this as a hobby.  It needs to be done by somebody.