When a missing person's report is filed, the police will enter the missing person’s information into NCIC.

(1) NCIC (National Crime Information Center)

NCIC is an electronic database, hosted by the FBI, which can be seen by only law enforcement agencies - nationwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No matter where your love one is located, if they are pulled over, law enforcement will see them in the NCIC database system as “Missing”.

When the police enter the information into NCIC, if the missing person is under the age of 21, the data automatically is sent to NCMEC.

(2) NCMEC (National Center of Missing & Exploited Children)

NCMEC is a nonprofit organization, which receives Federal funds to help families of the missing under the age of 21. They have Case Managers, at no charge to the family. Their number is 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678). This should be the first call made by a family after they have filed a missing person’s report for someone under the age of 18. If the missing is between 18 and 21-years of age, then law enforcement will be the only ones able to speak to NCMEC about the case.

If your child is missing, has been recovered, or has been sexually exploited, NCMEC’s Team HOPE has volunteers who provide telephone peer and emotional support to your family. They can be reached at 1-866-305-HOPE (4673).

(3) NAMUS (National Missing and Unidentified System)

NamUs is run by the Department of Justice. It is a database of people who have been reported as missing, and a database of bodies found who haven't been identified. A family member or a representative of the family is the one responsible for entering the information into NamUs. Once entered, then the information is submitted by NamUs to the Case Detective. The Case Detective reviews the information and edits / approves it for the public to see parts of the file. They keep some information private. This is why it is important to trust who helps you enter the information into NamUs. Although most people have good intentions, some just want the confidential details of a case. You can enter someone into NamUs as soon as they go missing. Some people wait 72-hours. Others wait weeks. You do not want to wait too long. Once the information is approved by the Investigating Agency, they may ask you to submit DNA. The processing of the DNA can take months. It’s better to start the clock running on that sooner rather than later.