Private investigator for missing persons

IFW investigates kidnapping, abduction and missing person cases across the globe with exceptional expertise.

Need a private investigator for a missing person? IFW is highly skilled in solving kidnapping, abduction and other missing persons cases across the globe. 

Whether you need to find someone who has vanished in Australia or overseas, our missing persons investigation agency can uncover their whereabouts and determine if foul play has been involved. 

From unsolved disappearances to ongoing police investigations, our licensed investigators can assist any case independently or in conjunction with law enforcement officials. With over 30 years of experience in finding missing persons through a worldwide network of resources, IFW conducts rigorous investigations that bring locations to light.  

If you are a family member, legal professional or media organisation in need of answers, put a stop to futile search efforts and contact our private investigators as soon as possible.

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A private investigator for a missing person can provide:

  • Case assessment to review all evidence, records, witness statements and the police brief of evidence (if available)
  • Full database and open-source cyber investigations to locate people and identify their connections to family members, business associations and addresses
  • Cyber intelligence to gather key information on suspects and missing persons
  • Forensic investigation and electronic data analysis to uncover case details
  • Preparation of recommendations for further investigations
  • Media management to spread public awareness of the case 
  • Law enforcement liaison between the police investigation and family members, legal professionals or the media
  • Identification of expert witnesses
Ken Gamble mapping out evidence he uncovered on behalf of the family of Belgian tourist Theo Hayez.

Track down any type of missing person

Approximately 38,000 people are reported missing in Australia every year, 98% of whom are located alive. Moreover, as many as 64% of missing persons are found within the first 48 hours.

At IFW, our private investigators have the professional prowess to find anyone who has disappeared, no matter where or how. Discover the most common types of cases we solve below.

Voluntary missing persons

Often, a missing person has absconded intentionally. These individuals may want to avoid outstanding debts, legal duties, mental illness, family conflict, penalties for criminal behaviour, or even a prying public eye. 

However, it is still possible to find them with the right resources and expertise. Our private investigators for missing persons can track down practically anyone, including: 

  • Runaway children and teenagers
  • Debtors hiding from creditors
  • Fugitives on the run from Police
  • Friends or family members who have begun a new life elsewhere
  • People who are trying to skip bail

Involuntary missing persons

Some missing persons are taken against their will through fraud or force, such as threats and violence. The offender’s motive is often financial gain or some other personal benefit. 

Alternatively, individuals can get lost when in unfamiliar surroundings, intense weather, crowds, confusion or other disorientating elements. Therefore, involuntary missing persons may include:

  • Hostages and captives
  • Children who have become separated from their parents
  • Adults with dementia or mental illness who have wandered away from their carers
  • Adventurers who have lost their way on a hike, drive, boat ride or holiday
  • People who have disappeared in a natural disaster 
  • Loved ones who have vanished inexplicably

How skip tracing works

Skip tracing refers to a private investigator’s endeavours to find a missing person, whether they disappeared suddenly or simply lost touch with a client over time. Whether you are searching for an old flame, a beneficiary of a deceased estate or a former partner who owed your child support payments, we follow a rigorous process to reveal their whereabouts.

First, we will meet with you for an in-depth interview, wherein we’ll ask questions to understand the missing person’s background, appearance, daily routine, risk factors, potential reasons for vanishing, behaviour before the disappearance and more.

Then our private investigators for missing persons will conduct an online search of public records, as well as exclusive databases. Our expert team will scour this information for clues to the missing person’s location, looking at details such as:

  • Invoices and leases;
  • Employment records;
  • Vehicle registrations;
  • Electoral roll;
  • Credit check databases;
  • Social media activity; and
  • Media reports.

In many cases, this data search is sufficient in finding the missing person. Other times, further investigation is required. This can involve:

  • Interviewing friends, family and colleagues;
  • Accessing and analysing the missing person’s devices, such as a computer or mobile phone;
  • Inspecting places where the missing person used to frequent; and
  • Liaising with local Police in the jurisdiction where the person was last seen.

A missing persons investigation agency with a proven track record

30+ years experience

Kidnappings, abductions and disappearances are tense situations, demanding expertise and attention to detail. With backgrounds including law enforcement, foreign intelligence, military special forces and security, our investigators can tackle any case.

Tailored & thorough investigations

No two cases are the same. That’s why IFW utilises a meticulous and methodical process to unravel layers of connections, movements and activities – rather than a predetermined procedure. This approach allows for continuous adaptation to the unique situation as it unfolds.

Global network of resources

With vast open-source intelligence capabilities and direct access to state and federal databases abroad, IFW gathers actionable intelligence and evidence in local and foreign jurisdictions. In addition, IFW utilises well established strategic alliances and relationships with law enforcement, media and regulatory bodies around the world.

Sophisticated techniques

From database research and communication intelligence to witness interviews and forensic investigation, IFW utilises a variety of digital and physical resources to uncover powerful information that helps to track down missing persons as fast as possible.

Evidence of success

IFW is a highly accomplished missing persons investigation agency. With multiple law enforcement awards for professionalism and scores of success stories, our licenced investigators are world-renowned for their ability to locate fugitives, family members, or those who have mysteriously vanished.

Strict confidentiality

Trusted for our strong levels of confidentiality and sensitivity, IFW never discloses case details without consent. To protect clients’ privacy, all personal data is encrypted and any featured investigation focuses on the processes used to solve the case.

IFW Global is the real deal, meticulous, detailed work, honest and professional. I was searching for a PI for more than a month before I found them. If you are searching for a Private Investigator be prepared to enjoy the ride as you come across a myriad of cowboys who will let you know (with great confidence) that they are 'highly experienced'. After contacting more than ten companies I still had not found anyone that I felt confident with. After speaking to Ken Gamble, (Director of IFW Global ) I knew I had met someone 'real' , whose company would do my job properly, the way I needed it done. They were polite and completely professional at all times (no cowboys here). If your job is important , you have high standards and you need the investigation done with a highly experienced meticulous operator , I recommend IFW Global.

Frequently asked questions

  • A person is considered missing once it has been reported to police that their whereabouts are unknown and others are concerned for their safety or welfare. They may have vanished suddenly, mysteriously or without explanation.

  • You can file a missing persons report at any time. There are no minimum or maximum time limits, so you do not have to wait 24 hours before contacting the police. 

    Time is of the essence in missing person investigations, with the first 24 hours serving as a critical opportunity to follow up on leads. We urge you to file a report as soon as you grow concerned for the welfare and safety of someone you cannot locate.

  • While both offences result in a missing person, kidnapping and abduction have one core distinction. Kidnapping involves using force, threat or deceit to take a person away with the intent of holding them captive against their will. In contrast, abduction refers to taking someone away in a manner that illegally interferes with a family relationship, such as snatching a child from their mother or father.

    Our private investigators have the experience, skills and resources to assist with both kidnapping and abduction cases anywhere in the world.

  • Family members can hire a private investigator to locate a missing person if they feel that the police investigation has failed to provide thorough and accurate results. Insurance companies, government entities, legal institutions and media organisations may also hire a private investigator to find a missing person on their behalf.

  • The cost of a missing person investigation will vary depending on the circumstances of the case and amount of work required to locate the individual.

    An investigation may start with a small budget to run open source Internet, social media and database checks. If these efforts are unsuccessful, physical investigations can be performed at an hourly rate.

    At IFW, our private investigators will begin each case with a review to outline a preliminary scope of work required. If a complex case demands extended evaluation, we may request funding to review all documentation to provide the most accurate assessment.

  • IFW Global Investigations Pty Ltd (“IFW”) is licensed by the NSW Police Force in Australia and regulated under the Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents Act 2004.

    IFW Global USA is a licensed private investigation agency in the State of Florida (License No: A 1900003) in the United States.

  • Private investigators find missing persons by examining every shred of evidence, conducting rigorous forensic, cyber and physical investigations, liaising with key personnel and gathering sophisticated intelligence.

    A missing person investigation may include:

    • Accessing open-source Internet, social media and state and federal database checks to verify whether the missing person’s current location is available.
    • Interviewing witnesses, friends, family, past employers, and other persons of interest.
    • Reviewing forensic reports, CCTV footage and other case evidence; and
    • Analysing data such as telephone records, credit card or bank account records, email communications, social media, and location information. This step may involve requesting records from official government bodies, law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, hospitals or medical centres, immigration, airlines and travel agencies.

    But of course, every case is unique. That’s why IFW investigators adopt a methodical and adaptable approach to finding missing persons, tailoring proven procedures for the circumstances at hand.

  • While specific details required will depend on the unique circumstances at hand, we generally request that you provide as much relevant information as possible to aid the investigation.

    For instance, you may be given access to the coronial brief of evidence submitted by police on the missing person, which contains records and reports of all police work to date. Sharing this information enables our specialists to check whether anything has been missed or warrants further investigation.

  • The length of time it takes to find a missing person depends on the unique circumstances of the case. Some investigations can run for days, months, or even years, depending on whether there are any leads on the person’s whereabouts.

    IFW investigators have mastered the art of finding missing people, utilising the most advanced resources and tracking methods to locate individuals as quickly as possible.

  • Yes. Our firm and all of our operatives are licensed and regulated by either a government body or a law enforcement agency relevant to their jurisdiction. This means that evidence obtained as a result of our investigation will be admissible in any Australian Court of law and most foreign jurisdictions.

Submit an enquiry

Understand the process and make an informed decision about engaging IFW Global services. Complete our enquiry form and get started with your investigation.

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