Tracing Lost Loved Ones

The pain of loss can resurface at holidays, anniversaries and other milestones. Reminders can trigger painful emotions, but there are ways to find comfort and cope.


Check your loved one’s social media accounts and the accounts of their friends and family. They may have arranged to transfer their account into a memorial or deleted it after death.

Gather Information

The first thing you must do when trying to locate a lost loved one is gather all of the information that you have on that person. This includes their full name, nicknames, aliases, date of birth, spouse or partner, children (if any), employers, and other important details that could be used in an investigation.

You should also consider contacting family members who are close to the person you want to find. This can be a great free resource, and they may be able to help you with information about your lost loved one or lead you in the right direction to expand your search.

Other important sources of information to consider include their neighbors, work associates, social clubs/centers and unions, and fraternal organizations. You can also use obituary websites, and you can check with financial planners, personal bankers, mortgage companies and credit card providers, as well as any insurance companies they were working with, to see if they can provide you with contact information for the deceased.

The Red Cross has a special system to help get personal messages to people who have been separated from their families by war or disasters, and they can work with local authorities to help you locate a missing loved one. They can be contacted through their website or by calling their local office.

Search Their Home

If you have any information about a lost contact, such as their name and last known address, it can be helpful to search for them using a people search website. Sites such as USA Trace can use public records to scour the internet and provide you with all of the relevant contact details you need. These searches are fast, easy to use, and legally compliant. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about your contact knowing that you’ve looked them up because they won’t be notified.

The loss of a loved one can have an impact on family and friends that extends well beyond the immediate grieving process. Many people are left wondering and worrying about their status, and they will often have a strong desire to find out more about what happened. This can make it difficult for them to cope, and they may be worried that they will say or do something that could hurt their chances of finding them again.

It’s important to be sensitive to the needs of family and friends that have suffered a loss, as they will need support at this time. Taking the time to talk to them about your own experiences can help, and you might also find out some information that can be used in your own search. You can also seek out help from organisations that offer support, advice and practical assistance to families separated due to war, disaster, migration or other reasons.

Search Social Media

There’s no doubt that social media can have its downside, but for many grieving people, it has become a way to connect with others and share fond memories. If your loved one had social media accounts, they may have left behind photos and videos that can bring them back to you in their own words.

In addition to Facebook and Instagram, your loved ones may have had other accounts like YouTube, Reddit, or TikTok. Each platform will have different rules and policies about whether they can take down or memorialize accounts of deceased users. Facebook, for example, will allow you to request that a loved one’s account be deleted by providing identification documentation and proof of death.

Some platforms, such as Twitter, will either keep a deceased person’s account up or will automatically delete accounts after a certain amount of time passes without any activity. However, some people may want to memorialize an account and allow friends and family to continue visiting it to find comfort and inspiration.

When you’re going through your loved one’s digital belongings, you might also uncover secrets that they never intended to share. This can be upsetting, even if the secrets are happy ones. It’s a good idea to discuss this with other loved ones and decide what you feel is best for everyone.

Search Online

You can use your research skills to find out more about a missing loved one online. Start with a general search using the person’s name and other information you have, such as their state of origin or school. Searches like this can turn up information in public records, such as property ownership. The Freedom of Information Act can also allow you to request federal records, such as military records or IRS filings.

You could also try a more targeted online search using a service such as TruthFinder, which can help you scour the internet for your contact’s information. Its services include a reverse phone number lookup, a list of potential connections, and a background check. This is a legal, easy-to-use way to track down a contact.

If your loved one’s death has been recent, you can find out more about their life from local news articles. The news media typically covers stories that impact the community, such as a sudden death or an unsolved murder. You can also visit a local archive facility and sift through official paperwork.

You can also reach out to a private investigator. They can unobtrusively uncover a wide range of information about a lost contact, including their location and social media or email accounts. Contact Beau Dietl & Associates today to get started.