Nothing is more important to parents than the safety and welfare of their children. When a child disappears, it is critically important for parents to know that there are resources readily available to help. For clarification, under California law, a missing child is a person 17 years of age or younger.
If your child is missing, immediately contact your nearest law enforcement agency.
How to Contact the LAPD Investigator assigned to a Missing Child Case
If the missing child falls under the jurisdiction of the LAPD, the case will typically be assigned for investigation to the LAPD station where the child has permanent residence. To contact the investigator assigned to a particular missing child case, contact the concerned LAPD police station detective unit. If the case is a missing or runaway child, ask for the detective juvenile unit. If the case involves a parental or family abduction, ask to speak with an investigator assigned to the detective Major Assault Crime (MAC) Unit.
To locate a listing of the phone numbers of the LAPD Stations, click here and select the neighborhood where you live for a listing of contact phone numbers of LAPD’s 21 police stations.
Once you have filed a missing child report and you need additional assistance in locating your child, the following are additional resources that may be of assistance. It cannot be stressed that these agencies and organizations should ONLY be contacted after you have made a missing child report with your local law enforcement agency:
Published by the US Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, this guide was written by parents and family members who have experienced the disappearance of a child. It contains their combined advice concerning what you can expect when your child is missing, what you can do, and where you can go for help. It explains the role that various agencies and organizations play in the search for your missing child and discusses some of the important issues that you and your family need to consider. Available in English and Spanish.
Published by the US Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, this guide provides practical, detailed advice about preventing international kidnapping and increasing the chances that children who have been kidnapped or otherwise wrongfully retained will be returned. Available in English and Spanish.
The is the State of California Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit which can provide assistance with having the missing child’s photograph posted on the State of California missing person website.
The NCMEC is the national organization that anyone reporting a missing child is encouraged to contact and register the missing child.
This is 24-hour hotline for missing children and their parents that provides a variety of resources.
The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a clearinghouse for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. NamUs is a free online system that can be searched by medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials and the general public to solve these cases.
The Missing Persons Database within NamUs contains information about missing persons that can be entered by anyone; before it appears as a case on NamUs, the information is verified. NamUs provides the ability to print missing person’s posters and even map out possible travel routes in a search for a missing person.
Crimes against Children Unit
24 Hour Number 310-477-6565
During working hours, Mon-Fri 213-974-7424
The District Attorney’s Child Abduction Section is comprised of specially trained prosecutors and investigators who assist parents and children in child / parental abduction cases in three important ways: criminal prosecution, family court enforcement, and international child abduction assistance.
This is a listing of each of the states missing person clearinghouses. This numbers may be of assistance if a child is missing from, or in another state other than California.
AMECO is an organization of member organizations in the United States and Canada who provide services to families with missing and exploited children. AMECO's mission as an international association of nonprofit organizations is to provide a voice on issues related to missing and exploited children and their families and to nurture credible, ethical and effective nonprofit member organizations.
The State of California Victims' Services Unit offers crime victims and their families support and information at every stage of the process when a missing juvenile case involves criminal allegations.
The Los Angeles County Office of the District Attorney’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program’s mission is to alleviate the trauma and devastating effects of crime on the lives of victims and their families. Victim advocates guide victims through the court process, help victims receive restitution, provide crisis intervention, and provide referrals to counseling and community services. Because Victim-Witness Assistance Program staff members are located at numerous sites throughout the county, crime victims and their families are assisted as closely as possible to their home.
The above is a website that allows the public to locate hospitals within the United States.
This is the website to the LA County Coroner’s Office
Welfare/Whereabouts Check through Embassy and Consulate Services
The U.S. Department of State fields citizen requests for welfare checks of American citizens abroad at the following offices:
For Missing and Sick Adults, Emergency Family Messages, and Child Abuse, Neglect, Abandonment or Exploitation cases, and child welfare in cases not/not involving parental child abduction or custody disputes, contact:
U.S. Department of State,
Office of American Citizens Services
For a Child Custody/Parental Child Abduction Case of a U.S. citizen under the age of 18, contact:
U.S. Department of State,
Office of Children’s Issues,
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520-4818
A GUIDELINE FOR LOCATING CHILDREN MISSING IN MEXICO
(This is a 4 page PDF that provides resources for locating children missing in Mexico.)
Suspicion that a Missing Person may be a Victim of Danger Along the Border
Families of Mexican nationals that are suspected of falling victim to dangers along the southwestern border are asked to call their local Mexican Consulate. On the other hand, families of American citizens are directed to call the Border Patrol in the sector where the missing person was supposed to cross (see map below detailing sectors). The Border Patrol phone numbers are listed below:
US Border Patrol Border Sector Offices:
McAllen Sector: (800) 863-9382
Laredo Sector: (800) 343-1994
Del Rio Sector: (800) 299-4402
Marfa Sector: (800) 536-6204
El Paso Sector: (800) 635-2409
Tucson Sector: (888) 872-7435
Yuma Sector: (877) 520-7670
El Centro Sector: (800) 901-2003
San Diego Sector: (800) 808-8727
U.S. National Central Bureau of Interpol (USNCB)
The USNCB is the federal link to the International Police Organization known as Interpol. Only law enforcement agencies may file a request for assistance from the U.S. National Central Bureau of Interpol (USNCB) when there is an international investigation of an American Citizen. Families of a missing person can contact the local detective or investigator assigned to the case to discuss if requesting Interpol to issue a missing person alert (Yellow Notice) would be beneficial in the situation.
Internationally Based Clearinghouses
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
c/o Missing Children’s Registry
1200 Vanier Parkway
PO Box 8885
Ottawa, Ontario, CN K1G 3M8
Toll Free: 1-877-318-3576
Pager: 1-613-760-6689 (After hours)
1200 Vanier Parkway
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