Missing Juveniles

If your child is missing, please contact the Sierra Vista Police Department at (520) 452-7500. If this is an emergency, please call 911.

Requirements for listing a missing juvenile

There is a difference between a missing person and a runaway. A missing person case has an unexplained disappearance whereas the runaway has a motive to disappear and does not want to be found. Finding and recovering a runaway child depends greatly on the active and aggressive participation of the parent/guardian.

If your child has run away, the Sierra Vista Police department will enter them into the national database (NCIC) as a runaway. If an officer anywhere in the country runs a check on the child, a “hit” will come up advising the officer of the runaway status. The officer will then verify the child’s identity and the child’s parents will be contacted to take custody of their child. Refusal to take custody of the recovered child may result in the parent/guardian being charged with child neglect.

Tips to help start finding your runaway

Make a list of all friends, associates, and classmates, and start calling them.

    1. This lets your runaway know that you are hot on their trail and are serious about finding them.
    2. Last names, phone numbers and addresses are a great help to assist law enforcement in locating your child. Be sure to include the runaway’s boyfriend/girlfriend.
    3. Many runaways have been trained by other runaways and will tell your child to take date books and photos with them or destroy them.
    4. The runaway may clear all telephone numbers from a cellular telephone databank so that you won’t call their friends.

Keep track of who you have contacted, what they told you, and when.

    1. Your runaway’s friends will often hide the truth from you and the police.
    2. Document the names of the parents and tell the parents that you absolutely do not give permission for your runaway to stay or live anywhere except home.
    3. If the cellular telephone that your runaway might be using is in your name, you can get the call records from the cell provider.

List all of the hangouts and activities of your child.

    1. You may know of several and the runaway’s friends may give you more.
    2. Let the police know if the runaway has used or is using drugs.
    3. List what the runaway enjoys doing in his/her spare time. Has the runaway talked about places where they had fun?

List what the runaway took with them.

    1. How many changes of clothing?
    2. Any food or money taken?
    3. Cell phone?
    4. Makeup or toys missing? (CD player, Gameboy, skateboard, bicycle, etc.)

Check phone, computer, and Internet access.

    1. Check the computer history.
    2. Search for e-mail to friends and messages about running away.
    3. Check your long distance phone log.

Check with the school and any employers.

    1. The school will be glad to give you an attendance history.
    2. The school staff and security officers may know friends that you don’t.
    3. Is your runaway expecting a paycheck soon?
    4. Are there work associates that you are not aware of?
    5. What is the work history like? Unexcused absences from work?

Monitor your home.

    1. Many runaways will sneak home for food, money and get more clothing. Many times they don’t come alone.
    2. Is there a way to secure your home and know if the runaway was there while you were at work or away?

Child Identification Program

Dad holding child being fingerprinted

Child Identification Program (ChIP) registration events are held throughout the year and are administered by the CPAA. When a child is registered, parents or guardians receive a thumb drive or CD with the child's photo, fingerprints, and other information, to be used if the child goes missing.