Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


Olympia – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that his office will re-distribute the office’s Missing Persons Toolkit during the Washington Community Safety Summit this week. The summit, being held Sept. 25-27 at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, focuses on emerging trends in prevention and enforcement strategies.

In Washington, thousands of adults are reported missing each year. The toolkit highlights a misconception that a missing persons report cannot be filed for 24 or even 72 hours. There is no required waiting period.  Local law enforcement are primarily responsible for receiving and investigating missing persons cases.

“When a loved one goes missing the experience can be terrifying,” McKenna said. “Law enforcement needs tools and resources to aid them in these cases. This toolkit will aid Washington’s citizens in knowing steps they can take to help in the process.”

The toolkit offers a number of suggestions such as gathering basic information that may aid law enforcement in locating the missing person, including the type of vehicle they were driving and any unique physical or speech characteristics.

“If you have a loved one that is missing you may hold the key,” McKenna continued. “The more information you have about the missing person such as full name, date of birth, and details on what they are wearing may assist law enforcement in their efforts.”

The Attorney General’s Office will lead a discussion related to the investigation of missing adults. Members of the Homicide Investigation Tracking System team will highlight the misconceptions related to the 24-72 hour rule before reporting a missing person. 

The Missing Persons Toolkit was originally compiled by the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Taskforce chaired by former Attorney General Christine Gregoire. The Missing Persons Toolkit is available on the Attorney General’s website.

Additional Resources:

Families & Friends of Missing Persons & Violent Crime Victims

National Center for Missing Adults

The Doe Network

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Operation Lookout

Salvation Army


Media Contacts: J. Ryan Shannon, Media Relations Manager, (360) 753-2727