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Law Enforcement Responsibilities


Upon receiving notification of a missing child, the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction for the location the child is missing from must:

  • Accept an initial report from the parent or legal guardian (there is no mandatory waiting period).
  • Provide the parent or legal guardian a copy of the linked informational pamphlet regarding services provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Runaway Safeline:

10-11-2-34 Missing Children pamphlet

  • Prepare a report on the incident within five hours of notification (under certain circumstances this may be delayed up to 24 hours). This must include entry of the child's name and description into the Indiana Data and Communications System (IDACS) and the National Crime Information Computer System (NCIC).
  • Begin an investigation within 24 hours after receiving the notification.

Parents/Guardian should have the following documents in their possession prior to arrival of the law enforcement officer:

  • Current photograph of child;
  • Description of clothing child was last seen wearing;
  • Physical description of child.


A law enforcement agency that receives a notification concerning a missing endangered adult from the missing endangered adult's guardian, custodian or guardian ad litem or an individual who provides the missing endangered adult with home health aid services, possesses a health care power of attorney for the missing endangered adult or has evidence that the missing endangered adult has a condition that may prevent the missing endangered adult from returning home without assistance; shall prepare an investigative report on the missing endangered adult, if based on the notification, the law enforcement agency has reason to believe that an endangered adult is missing.

The investigative report may include the following:

  • Relevant information obtained from the notification concerning the missing endangered adult, including:
    • A physical description of the missing endangered adult;
    • The date, time, and place that the missing endangered adult was last seen;
    • The missing endangered adult's address.
  • Information gathered by a preliminary investigation, if one was made. A statement by the law enforcement officer in charge setting forth that officer's assessment of the case based upon the evidence and information received.

The law enforcement agency shall prepare the investigative report as soon as practicable, and if possible not later than five (5) hours after the law enforcement agency receives notification of a missing endangered adult.

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