Private Investigations and Personal Security/Missing Persons Investigations

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Question
John M. Healy:

I am writing a novel about a woman who disappeared with her two children.  The story begins immediately after the woman disappears and probably follows the time line of about a week or so afterward.  My questions are as follows:

How long would it take for a law enforcement agency to determine if she left, killed herself, or most likely was murdered?  

I would like to know who would be investigating this case.  Would it be the local police or the FBI or some other agency?  

One of the suspects lives in a neighboring state.  Would that make a difference?

And finally:

Is there a particular procedure that is followed in these investigations that I should be aware of?  My investigators are looking at physical evidence, interviewing family and friends, and exploring web pages and articles the woman created, in order to determine her mental state and personality.  Anything else that would be done?

I appreciate your help in pointing me in the right direction.

Thank you,

Diana

Answer
How long would it take for a law enforcement agency to determine if she left, killed herself, or most likely was murdered?

What kind of ecidence do they have. People interviewed, background data. No way to put a time on that question.

I would like to know who would be investigating this case. Would it be the local police or the FBI or some other agency?

The FBI only investigates violation of federal law. How a homicide is handled is up to the Attorney General.

One of the suspects lives in a neighboring state. Would that make a difference?  No


s there a particular procedure that is followed in these investigations that I should be aware of? My investigators are looking at physical evidence, interviewing family and friends, and exploring web pages and articles the woman created, in order to determine her mental state and personality. Anything else that would be done?

Yes there are MANY MANY procedues to be followed but you need to sit down with a veteran homicide perosn and lab person for a very long time to cover them all.

Interviews
Forensics:prints/blood/tires/ body fluids,fiber/hair
Backgrounds
Record research
Statement Analysis
Search Warrants
Subpoenas
Medical history if needed
current financial status
identifying people with a motive
verfying/breaking alibis
prohne records prior to disappearing

and lots more


The police must uncover and prove

Motive
Opportunity
Ability  

Private Investigations and Personal Security

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John M. Healy

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Licensed, bonded and insured investigator and security consultant. Retired State Police Lt. President New Hampshire League of Investigators, President New England Council of State Investigator Associations. I have over 28 yrs experience in the public and private sector. I author numerous article regarding the profession that have been re-printed in industry publications. I can answer any questions regarding professional investigate services, the role of the investigator, how to choose a professional, and other related questions.

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