The Sheriff’s Missing Persons Bureau is responsible for assisting local police agencies in coordinating and investigating cases involving missing persons, runaway children and unidentified living or deceased individuals who are considered John or Jane Does.
Missing Persons Unit
Sheriff’s Department, Camden County
Investigator Thomas Brett
(856) 225-7661 (after 5:00 PM)
NOTE: The Camden County Sheriff’s Office does not have the authority nor the resources to find uprooted friends or relatives who have lost contact with each other. Concerned individuals who are interested in such matters are requested to employ other public and private resources.
ACTION TO TAKE IF YOUR CHILD IS MISSING:
If you believe your child is missing, it is critical that you act immediately. If your child is missing from home, search the house. You should check closets, piles of laundry, in and under beds, inside old refrigerators – wherever a child could crawl into or hide and possibly be asleep or not able to get out. Check with your neighbors and friends of your child. If you still cannot find your child, call the police immediately.
If your child disappears when you are away from home on a shopping trip, for example, notify the manager of the store or the security office and ask for assistance in finding your child. Then telephone the police immediately.
When you call the police, try to stay calm. Identify yourself and your location and say, «Please send an officer. I want to report a missing child.» You should give your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight and any unique identifiers, such as eyeglasses, pierced ears or braces on the teeth. In addition, you should tell them when you became aware of the disappearance and when you last saw your child. Knowing what clothing the child was wearing when he or she disappeared will help the police. After you have reported your child missing to the police, listen to their instructions and respond to their questions.
Any significant and unexplained deviation from your child’s daily routine should prompt a timely law-enforcement response. Police response may be expedited if any of these unusual circumstances exist: 1) your child is under thirteen years of age, 2) your child is mentally incapacitated or drug dependent, or 3) your child is a potential victim of foul play or is with adults who endanger the child’s welfare.
Request that your child be entered immediately into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Persons File. This ensures that any law-enforcement agency in the country will be able to identify your child if he or she is found in another community. (1985 by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 550 Arlington, Virginia 22201-3052 1-800-THE-LOST)
How to Prepare in Case of an Emergency:
There are five steps that parents should take if their child should become a missing person. The data collected will assist the police in their search for the child and will help them identify the child when they have a lead.
- Compile a complete description of the child. This description must include color of hair and eyes, height, weight and date of birth. In addition, the description should contain other identifiers – eyeglasses or contact lenses, braces on teeth, pierced ears and other unique physical attributes. The complete description must be in writing.
- Take color photographs of your child every six months. Photographs should be of high quality and in sharp focus so that the child is easily recognizable. Head and shoulder portraits from different angles, such as those taken by school photographers, are preferable.
- Have your dentist prepare dental charts for your child, and be sure that they are updated each time an examination or dental work is performed. Make sure that your dentist maintains accurate, up-to-date dental charts and x-rays on your child as a routine part of his or her normal office procedure. If you move, you should get a copy from your former dentist to keep until a new dentist is found.
- Know where your child’s medical records are located. Medical records, particularly x-rays, can be invaluable in helping to identify a recovered child. It is important to have all permanent scars, birthmarks, blemishes, and broken bones recorded. You should find out from your child’s doctor where such records are located and how you can obtain them if the need arises.
- Arrange with your local police department to have your child fingerprinted. In order for fingerprints to be useful in identifying a person, they must be properly taken. Your police department has trained personnel to do this. The police department will give you the fingerprint card and will not keep a record of the child’s prints. You must keep the fingerprint card in a safe place.