California Missing Persons
The Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit in the California Department of Justice assists law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in locating missing persons and identifying unknown live and deceased persons through the comparison of physical characteristics, fingerprints and dental/body X-rays
In California, a missing person is someone whose whereabouts is unknown to the reporting party. This includes any child who may have run away, been taken involuntary or may be in need of assistance. It includes a child illegally taken, held or hidden by a parent or non-parent family member (*See California Penal Code Sections 277-280).
There is NO waiting period for reporting a person missing. All California police and sheriffs' departments must accept any report, including a report by telephone, of a missing person, including runaways, without delay and will give priority to the handling of the report.
California's AMBER Alert is an innovative statewide program in which law enforcement agencies, local radio and television stations and the public collaborate to help locate abducted children as soon as possible after they are reported missing.
After receiving a report of a child abduction, the responsible law enforcement agency must conduct a preliminary investigation and determine if the specified criteria for an AMBER Alert activation have been met.
All of the following conditions must apply:
• A confirmed abduction has occurred.
• The victim is 17 years of age or younger, or of proven mental or physical disability.
• The victim is reasonably believed by local law enforcement to be in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
• There is information available that, if disseminated to the general public, could assist in the safe recovery of the victim.
Note: AMBER Alert is not intended for cases involving runaways, missing children in which there is no evidence of foul play, or custody disputes that are not reasonably believed to endanger the life or physical health of a child. However, agencies should continue to exercise their discretion when determining which of the many tools available would be the most appropriate for transmitting information and photos of missing children to other officers, the media and the public.
CA Amber Alert