What to know about missing person reports in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo

With more missing person reports coming out by police, Mix News spoke with Cpl. Lacey Blair, a spokesperson with the Wood Buffalo RCMP to answer some of the questions people may have regarding a missing person report.

Should you wait 24/48 hours to report someone missing?

“No, that’s a movie thing. We don’t have that rule here. If you feel that somebody is missing and they’re in danger, have a medical condition, or if they’re a youth that has run away from home, definitely call the police sooner than later to give us a head start as opposed to waiting 24 hours.”

What information is helpful to RCMP?

“Where were they last, what were they wearing, how tall are they, how much do they weigh, eye colour, and updated hair colour because people dye hair, and a photo. A photo goes a long way and we’re able to do our missing persons posters. A photo with no filters.”

Why do some missing person reports get released sooner than others?

“If we fear for their safety regarding a file or a serious medical condition that we need to find them, we send those out right away. If we have an idea of where someone is, like if they ran away from home, or if they haven’t been seen by their boyfriend/girlfriend or friend for a couple of days and we have an idea where they are, we may wait to send those out.”

Should someone be concerned about inconveniencing RCMP if they’re only a little concerned?

“No, it’s not an inconvenience. That’s what we’re here for. It wouldn’t be called necessarily a missing person report, we also take well-being checks.  Like, ‘I haven’t seen my elderly mother for a couple of days, and I don’t live in Fort McMurray can you check on her,’ we do those all the time as well.”

It feels like there are more missing person reports coming out, why is that?

“More people reporting.”

If you’re concerned for someone’s well-being, please contact the Wood Buffalo RCMP at 780-788-4040.

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