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Understanding the Impact of Missing Persons: Commemorating International Day of the Disappeared

On this International Day of Charity, we proudly shine a spotlight on our volunteers’ unwavering commitment to supporting families of missing people, and to finding those who are unidentified. As a UK registered charity, we are proud to be an organisation that represents compassion, unity, and collective effort in making a difference in the lives of those affected. 

1. Support for Police Investigations 

One of the cornerstones of Locate International’s charitable work is its specialist volunteer OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) team, led by the dedicated Neil Smith. Week after week, this team of experts collaborates to advance missing and unidentified people investigations. In the past few weeks alone, they provided invaluable support to three police forces, using their skills to uncover information that significantly propelled ongoing investigations forward. 

Furthermore, their research efforts led to a breakthrough in a separate case. The team’s dedication allowed our community investigation teams to locate key individuals connected to long-term missing people who had never been contacted before. This demonstrates the power of teamwork and the unwavering commitment of Locate International’s volunteers to develop their skills and apply them for the greater good. 

2. The Quest Analytical Platform 

Locate International has also recently launched a cutting-edge analytical platform known as “Quest.” This platform plays a crucial role in supporting the families of missing people. It collates information from various sources and transforms it into a fully searchable and shareable database. This information, managed securely in Altia’s SmartCase, encompasses over 200 detailed questions covering aspects like a missing person’s physical appearance, health, social network, digital presence, and lifestyle. 

This comprehensive understanding of the missing person aids Locate International’s Quest specialists in reviewing cases thoroughly. The data can then be securely shared with law enforcement, ensuring that all available resources are dedicated to resolving these cases. 

3. “The Missing” Podcast

Locate International is thrilled to be part of the highly anticipated fifth series of “The Missing” podcast, a gripping show dedicated to exploring unsolved cases of long-term missing persons. Each episode delves deeper into the lives and disappearances of individuals who have never been traced. With the support of Locate International and Missing People, along with What’s The Story Sounds and Pandora Sykes, this podcast continues its mission to shed light on the 1% of missing persons cases that remain unsolved, even after months and years have passed. Prepare yourself for another season filled with compelling stories, intriguing clues, and the opportunity to make a difference. 

4. Fundraising Initiatives

Locate International relies on the dedication and commitment of volunteers and supporters to fund its crucial work. People like Brodie have gone above and beyond to raise funds to support Locate International’s mission. Brodie’s daring act of skydiving from an aircraft at 10,000 feet, reaching speeds of up to 120 miles per hour, exemplifies the lengths to which supporters go to help the organisation. 

Locate International operates as an entirely voluntary endeavour, meaning that all funds raised go directly toward supporting missing or unidentified individuals. Over the past two years, volunteers like Brodie have dedicated her time to the Locate International Scottish Cold Case Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her role within the team involves weekly meetings, specialised investigative work, data analysis from multiple angles, and piecing together timelines and new information with the hope of identifying or tracing missing or unidentified persons. As a team, they aim to raise awareness of these cases through media campaigns and appeals, further underscoring their commitment to their cause. 

5. International Collaborations

In our relentless pursuit of answers, Locate International deploys teams of trained community volunteers and university students to review and investigate unsolved missing person and unidentified people cases.  

Through this initiative, we harness and mobilise the skills and energy of over 200 volunteers. These individuals bring with them a diverse range of professional, academic, and personal experiences, each contributing to the multidisciplinary approach we take in solving these perplexing cases. 

But we don’t stop at local involvement. Locate International is at the forefront of groundbreaking international collaborations. Our work with Amber Alert Europe, Police Expert Network Missing Persons (PEN-MP), Police Academy Lower Saxony, and universities in the UK, Germany, North Macedonia, and Australia exemplifies our commitment to transcending borders in our mission. 

These collaborative efforts bring together teams from across the globe. From trainee police officers at the Police Academy Lower Saxony and the German Federal Criminal Police Office Wiesbaden in Germany to the French Gendarmerie and university students from the UK and Australia, these dedicated individuals work together over a four-month period. They review a multitude of unsolved murders, unidentified remains cases, and missing persons cases, pooling their expertise to shed light on these mysteries. 

The culmination of their efforts is a presentation of their findings to the German Public Prosecutor and representatives from police forces across Europe. This collaboration has gained support from the Council of Europe and PEN-MP, underscoring the significance and impact of our work in solving these intricate cases. 

Our charitable work exemplifies the transformative power of compassion in action. We believe in an unwavering commitment to supporting families of missing and unidentified people. On this International Day of Charity, we invite you to join us in our mission. Your support, whether through donations, volunteering, or spreading awareness, can help us bring hope and closure to those affected by the heartache of missing loved ones. 

Together, we can make a real difference and bring solace to countless families in need. Donate today and be a part of the compassionate force that’s changing lives.