Tracing Runaway Youth

Often, these youths are fleeing some type of negative dynamic within their families. They also believe that life on the streets offers a more exciting and adventurous life.


After concluding your telephone conversation with the runaway or the person demanding ransom, immediately dial *57. This will trace their cellular telephone location ping.

Cell Phone Tracking

The cell phone tracking system works by looking at the signal strength of a cellphone pinging nearby antenna towers. When a person moves, the signal strength will change and the cell phone can be pinpointed to a location. This type of tracking is most accurate in urban areas since there are many antenna towers. Rural areas have fewer towers and the tracking may only be accurate to within about a mile.

A private company called Fog Reveal claims to be able to track phones with their software even if the location services are turned off. But the technology has raised privacy concerns. The firm says it uses the International Mobile Equipment Identity number—a unique 15-digit code that’s assigned to every device—to identify a phone’s location. It says this information can be used by police to find the phone’s owner and trace their movements.

The technology is controversial because it violates a person’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy. In a case in San Jose, California, the FBI used a similar technology known as a stingray to locate an identity thief. The thief’s lawyer argued the search was a violation of his privacy rights and should require a warrant. It is possible to protect your phone location by turning off location services, placing it inside an aluminum bag or putting it in the freezer.

Social Media Tracking

Social media tracking is the process of monitoring conversations that occur on social networks. The right tools can help you identify important trends and online crises as they happen. You can set alerts for keywords that are related to your company or product, and most monitoring tools allow you to design data streams that update in real time. This allows you to respond quickly if there is an unexpected spike in mention volume or negative sentiment.

Social media monitoring also provides valuable information about your audience and customer base. You can use this to target your marketing efforts more effectively. For example, you might want to monitor the discussions that are happening in languages other than English so that you can address concerns and issues in your customers’ native language.

In some cases, a social media presence can help locate a runaway individual. For instance, a photo of a missing child can spread quickly on Facebook and reach thousands of people in a matter of hours. It can even lead to a person who knows the missing child.

In addition to using social media, you can also send out posters with a person’s picture and a description of where they were last seen. This can also be effective, especially if you include the person’s identifying marks and the clothing they were wearing when they went missing.

Cell Phone Text Tracking

Many parents have discovered that tracking their children’s cell phone activity has helped them find runaway individuals. Using monitoring applications, such as XNSPY, to track text messages is a safe and effective method. Once the application has been synchronized and downloaded onto a target device, users can monitor all incoming and outgoing text messages. This includes checking names and numbers for telemarketers, spammers and other unwanted callers.

In cases involving an active missing person report for a juvenile or a ransom demand, you can initiate a location ping by dialing *57 on the suspect’s cellular telephone number. This will provide information regarding the last known position of the missing individual, but cannot be used on a person who has disappeared voluntarily.

If you have suspicions that a friend of yours has gone missing, alert the police immediately. The more specifics you can provide them with, the more likely it is they will be found. Make sure you give them a complete physical description including height, hair and eye color and any distinguishing marks. Also, provide the investigator with a list of “hang outs” and activities that the runaway usually engages in during their spare time.

Also, make color copies of all recent photographs and distribute them in local hangouts such as schools, restaurants and shopping plazas. It’s always possible that someone who sees the photos may know where to contact you.

Contacting Friends / Associates / Classmates / Boyfriend / Girlfriend

If a parent suspects their child may be running away, it is important to document the names of their friends and associates. This will help an investigator know which individuals to contact. Having last names, phone numbers and addresses will also be useful to your investigator. Additionally, avoiding social media is helpful as it may prevent your runaway from making a public announcement of their disappearance.

While running away may seem like a solution to some, it usually only presses pause on dealing with the core issues that caused the runaway. This is why it is crucial to speak with a trusted adult (such as a coach, school counselor or family doctor) before attempting to run away.

Existing research indicates that disproportionately high rates of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) are associated with runaway behavior and other factors at individual, familial, and extra-familial levels. The current study analyzed relationships between a variety of risk factors and runaway behavior using both bivariate and multivariate analysis. In the multivariate model, childhood emotional and physical abuse, having friends that engage in selling sex, dropping out of school, being worried about where to sleep or eat, and frequent alcohol and drug use were associated with runaway behaviors. Having an older boyfriend/girlfriend fully mediated the relationship between these variables and runaway behavior, after accounting for other significant independent predictors.