Policy: Missing Persons Reporting


The purpose of this order is to establish the procedures for the completion of the Michigan State University Police Department (Department) incident report, establish notification to key University Officials, enter information into LEIN/NCIC, and activate an Amber Alert.


It is the policy of the Department to follow all current laws, ordinances, rules and regulations in managing a report of a missing person.


The following terms reflect that the Department must initiate an investigation and the initials in parentheses indicate their Law Enforcement Intelligence Network (LEIN) designation.

Disability (EMD): A person of any age who has a physical or mental disability as evidenced by written documentation from physician or other authoritative source.

Endangered (EME): A person of any age who is in the company of another person, and it is believed that the missing person’s safety is in danger.

Involuntary (EMI): A person of any age who is missing and it is believed that their disappearance was not voluntary.

Disaster Victim (EMX): A person of any age missing as the result of any natural or intentionally caused catastrophe or extraordinary accident, which causes the loss of human life.

Juvenile Runaway (EMJ): Un-emancipated person who does not meet any of the above criteria.

Other (EMO): Age 18 and over, but less than 21, as prescribed under Suzanne’s Law that requires local authorities to immediately notify the National Crime Information Center if someone between the ages of 18 and 21 goes missing.


Initiating a Report

When an instances of a report for a missing persons not falling into the defined categories, the determination to initiate a written report is made by the Duty Supervisor based on the information available.

When a written report is required, that report shall be made unless the person is located prior to the conclusion of the preliminary investigation.

If the person is located during this stage of the investigation, no report need be written unless exceptional circumstances dictate, i.e., suicidal, abuse, etc.

EMD documentation and LEIN entry requires a signed written statement from a physician or other authoritative source.

EME and EMI documentation and LEIN entry requires a signed statement from a parent or legal guardian, family member or other authoritative source advising that the disappearance was not voluntary or that circumstances indicate the missing person’s physical safety is in danger.

EMJ and EMO documentation and LEIN entries are to be done without requiring written documentation from complainants, as statute prohibits such requests.

Notification to University Officials

University policy requires that upon receipt of a missing student that resides on campus, the Director of Residence Education and Housing Services (REHS) shall be notified.

If initial determination is that a resident student has been missing for more than 24 hours, the Department shall contact the person(s) the student designated in the University Emergency Contact System within 24 hours.

If the missing resident student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, the student’s custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s) will also be contacted.

LEIN/NCIC Entry for Missing Person and/or Unidentified Bodies

Reports of missing persons (EMD, EME, EMI, EMX, EMJ) and unidentified bodies shall immediately be entered into LEIN/NCIC.

Reports of missing persons (EMO) must be entered into LEIN/NCIC within two hours of being reported.

Reports of missing persons (EMD) must have a LEIN broadcast sent to potentially interested agencies, i.e., agency of residence, location person was last seen, etc.

In the case of missing juveniles who have possibly been abducted by a known person, include the abductor’s name and date of birth in the alias field of the missing person’s LEIN entry.

In the case of a missing person not found within 30 days, the Department shall secure the dental records of the individual and enter them into NCIC.

In the case of bodies found, the dental records shall be immediately entered into NCIC.

Amber Alert Activation Criteria

An endangered missing person under 18 years of age is reported to the Department and one or more of the following circumstances exist:

The missing child suffers from a severe mental or physical disability that greatly impairs the child’s ability to care for him/herself.

The child is a victim of a stranger or acquaintance kidnapping.

Stranger kidnapping is defined as a child being taken against his/her will by a stranger.

Acquaintance kidnapping is defined as a child being taken against his/her will by an acquaintance of the child or the child’s family.

The child is in the company of a person who has a confirmed criminal history of child abuse/neglect, sexual assault, domestic assault, a crime involving the victimization of children, or has made statements of intent to harm the missing child, or is suicidal.

The child has been abducted by a non-custodial parent whose parental rights have been terminated.

To activate an Amber Alert

Review the procedures in the Amber Alert booklet located at the Cadet Information Desk

Complete a LEIN Entry and contact MSP Operations to provide them with information needed for the launch of an Amber Alert.

The 9-1-1 Central Dispatch can provide assistance with the phone call to MSP, if needed.