Police Consider Many Elements in Missing Person Reports

Published 08/14 2014 06:15PM

Updated 08/14 2014 06:26PM

PEORIA COUNTY - Nearly 2,500 people are missing in Illinois.

Peoria County Sheriff, Mike McCoy, said missing person investigations are handled in a case-to-case manner.

One of the first things they consider is age.

“We'll put a lot of people on the ground right away for the kids,” explained McCoy.”If it's an adult, then it's a little more in depth.”

He said that they also try to figure if the person may have been struggling with depression.

Sheriff McCoy said it's the work done beforehand, and while searching, that often leads them to the missing person.

“Trying to find out in the first 48 hours what we can find out is really important.”

Police also look into any motives behind why a person went missing. That sometimes includes a person’s state of mental health.

All of those pieces together, determine how they go about their investigation.

“We have a lot of people that we can put on the ground right away for someone who has a medical issue or a mental issue that we know that they need to be found right away,” the Sheriff explained, “Which is a little different than somebody who [is] a 25 year old who just has a fight with their parents and just doesn't come home for a night.”

The Peoria County sheriff's office recently added a new search and rescue team that works with Illinois State Police.

State police in Tazewell County say they currently have 52 people on their active missing person list.

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