How to Find a Missing Friend or Family Member

If you want to find someone who has "gone missing," many tools are available that can help. Among them are free online resources, fee-based online search tools and professional services that can help you with your search.

Start your search at the Pipl website. This meta-search engine specializes in scouring dozens of sources of online public information about people. It consolidates and presents the information neaty.

Try the online phone book at a site such as Unlike phone books of old, which contained listings only for a single city, online phone books can cover entire states at a time, or even allow a search of the entire United States. Searches are divided into people and business searches on the home page.

Consider searching a death index to see if the missing person has passed away. These are available for many states, as well as for U.S. citizens who died in foreign countries. The National Archives government website provides links for various death indexes.

Try a fee search service if the free services come up empty. Intelius is a comprehensive database of information. You can search from the home page for free, but if you want additional details, you'll have to pay a small fee.

Go to the library and ask to search on ReferenceUSA. Many libraries subscribe to the service and allow library patrons to use it at no cost. Ask your local librarian if the library subscribes.

Go to a professional people-search firm such as XooxleAnswers that can dig into resources such as voter registration rolls, property records and court cases that are not easily accessible to the masses.