Tracing Runaway Individuals

Tracing runaway individuals starts with a report to the police. This will put the runaway in a national data base that only law enforcement officers can access with a PIN number and a department case number.


Asking the runaway’s friends and checking bus stations are important steps. Social media and going through their garbage can also provide valuable information to locate them.

Cellular Telephone Records

Cellular phone pinging has become a powerful tool for tracing runaway individuals. Every time a person makes or receives a call on their cell phone, the phone signals its location to the nearest cellular communication tower. These location signals are then recorded by the cellular provider and stored as cell site location information (CSLI).

This type of information is useful because it reveals where a person was at a certain time. This data can corroborate or contradict an alibi location, as well as reveal incident locations. It is now being admitted as evidence in many trials around the country and globe.

Obtaining these records is done by subpoena from a court of law. Due to the United States Constitution, which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, police must have probable cause before accessing any personal information, including a cell phone’s location.

Another way to get this information is to request a “tower dump” from the local cellular phone carrier. This is a list of all CDRs and new handset registrations that occurred for a specific base station over a specific period of time.

Text Messages

A runaway’s text messages can contain valuable information. Especially when it comes to teenage runaways, texts can reveal their plans for leaving home. In addition, it’s important to ask your children about their relationships with people in their lives, including their teachers and friends. Some teens may gripe about their parents being “nosey,” but knowing who their acquaintances are can help law enforcement agencies locate them faster.

When a missing runaway calls home, they may try to reassure their family that they’re safe and ask not to involve law enforcement in search efforts. They also might call to demand ransom. When this happens, the family must immediately dial *57 after the phone call is complete. This is a standard procedure for active missing person cases involving minors or at-risk adults. Only law enforcement agencies can retrieve the location ping data from this trace, so it’s vital to write down the information provided by the automated system. Using this procedure to track a runaway is not appropriate for cases involving adults who disappear voluntarily. The process isn’t foolproof and it doesn’t guarantee that the caller will be located.

Computer History

In 1848, Ada Lovelace (daughter of poet Lord Byron) wrote the world’s first computer program while translating a paper on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. She added her own step-by-step description of how to compute Bernoulli numbers using the machine, making her the world’s first programmer.

The first generation of computers (1937-1944) were based on vacuum tubes and used binary code to process data. In the second generation (1959-1963), transistors were employed, allowing computers to become smaller, faster and more energy efficient. This era saw the development of COBOL and FORTRAN, and the invention of the floppy disc.

The history of computing intersects with the histories of many other technologies, shaping them while being shaped by them. The historian of computing must be aware of these overlapping contexts, and understand how to read their products in critical ways. This understanding is vital for tracing runaway individuals. For example, computer users often leave behind traces on their hard drives that might indicate unauthorized activity. These traces can include Internet searches, file modification dates and other evidence.

School Attendance

A consistent school attendance rate is a critical factor in ensuring that students get the most out of their education. Research shows that excessive absenteeism takes a significant toll on grades and standardized test scores, as well as being linked to school dropout rates. Students who drop out are at greater risk for poor labor market outcomes, diminished health and increased involvement in the criminal justice system compared to their peers who graduate from high school.

Moreover, teachers struggle to provide a quality education to students who miss a lot of class. This is because students who are frequently absent have difficulty catching up on missed materials and often fall behind their peers. The problem is particularly acute for vulnerable students, including those in poverty or who live with chronic illnesses.

To address the problem, schools need granular data that enables them to recognize student absence patterns and trends. This can be accomplished by tracking student attendance using tools such as digital software, which notes when a child is present or absent. It is also important for educators to promote a culture of attendance and show concern rather than frustration with students who struggle.


Typically, runaway cases involve individuals who left their homes or care facilities without permission. These individuals are often seeking to resolve personal issues or escape an abusive situation at home. Sometimes, they may leave their parents in violation of a custody or visitation agreement. Others may seek to reconnect with family members they have lost contact with over the years.

Ask the runaway’s friends for information on where they hang out and what they do in their spare time. The investigator will need this to locate them. Ask them about a drug history, if they are using a cellular telephone and pager. List the places they went to and any items that they took with them.

You can also obtain a missing person report from the Sheriff’s Department and have them entered into the National Crime Information Center, which will advise officers anywhere in the country that your child is missing. You will need to complete and sign a Missing Person Certification form, which allows the Sheriff’s Office to release the child’s information to law enforcement agencies throughout the country.