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Report a missing person or find a loved one on this national database

Report a missing person or find a loved one on this national database
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

There are few moments as scary as realizing you can't find someone you love. Maybe you're walking through the mall when your toddler is suddenly nowhere to be found. Or perhaps you can't get in touch with a grown child who's driving through a storm.

Fortunately, everything ends well most of the time. You spot a toddler running far in the distance at the mall, and track him down. Or the phone rings and you hear the weather's still bad, but everyone is OK.

Sadly, for many families that moment of panic turns into a lifetime of worry, uncertainty and frustration. You don't want to be the person making that call to police to report your kid or grandchildren as missing.

However, if you find yourself in that situation, there are more options than ever to quickly report someone missing. With sites like the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), you can report someone who's missing, or search through this national database for them. Just input top-line information, like their gender and the state where they were last seen, to get the search started.

If you think your loved one may be in danger, NamUs also searches its Unidentified Persons Database. Or, you can go directly to that site. Put in as much information as asked, such as their gender, ethnicity, age and state, to start your search.

Of course, you don't want to find a family member or friend on the site. But, if you do, you can hopefully start the process of bringing your loved one home.

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