Missing Persons


The purpose of this policy is to detail the proper procedure of investigating missing persons. Title 42, United States Code 5779(a) states that all persons under the age of 21 will be treated as a juvenile for purposes of NCIC requirements. Adults aged 18-20 will be entered into NCIC immediately upon receiving sufficient information from the preliminary investigation to do so. The NCIC entry must be completed within 12 hours of being reported.


Missing Persons in Residence Halls

When resident students move into their residence halls, they are given the opportunity to identify a person that the University shall notify within twenty-four hours of a determination by the Youngstown State University Police Department (YSUPD) that the student is missing. (Unless another law enforcement agency is the entity that determines that a student is missing, YSUPD will cooperate with that agency in their investigation as soon as the YSUPD is made aware that a student is missing)

Student contact information will be kept confidential. Unless otherwise required by law, contact information will only be accessible to authorized campus officials and law enforcement personnel as part of a missing person investigation. However, should an unemancipated student under the age of eighteen be determined as missing, in addition to notifying the designated contact person, the University is required by law to notify the custodial parent or guardian within twenty-four (24) hours of such determination.

Should anyone believe that a student has been missing for more than twenty-four (24) hours, s/he immediately should contact YSUPD or a Student Experience staff member, who will immediately contact YSUPD. YSUPD will investigate the missing student report, and or forward and cooperate with any law enforcement agency that is responsible for investigating the missing person’s report. If the student is not located during the ensuing twenty-four (24) hours, or sooner as conditions may dictate, the University will notify the student’s confidential contact person (and/or parent as necessary.)



A. The Youngstown State University Police will utilize all resources at its disposal as well as requesting the assistance from any law enforcement agency University entity, or other organization to aid in the investigation and return of any persons reported missing to this department. Any report received by the Youngstown State University Police Department in reference to a missing person, will be investigated.

The officer who is dispatched to a call for a missing person shall do the following:

  1. Obtain a thorough description of the missing subject.
  2. Obtain information about possible whereabouts, suspicious activity, and known associates. Any special information concerning the missing person such as medical condition shall be obtained.
  3. The officer shall complete the uniform incident report promptly.

B. The shift supervisor shall contact the Confidential Contact of the missing person-if such information is available. If the missing person is under the age of 18, and not legally emancipated, the shift supervisor shall also contact the missing persons parents/legal guardian, if such information is available.

C. The shift supervisor will ensure that Youngstown State University Police Dispatch promptly enters the missing persons information into NCIC. In addition, The shift supervisor will inform the lieutenant on call of the situation. The lieutenant on call will notify the Chief of YSU Police.

D. The investigating officer will contact the local law enforcement agency of the missing persons legal address to advise them of the person being missing.

E. The assigned investigating officer shall conduct a prompt follow up investigation.

  1. The officer shall contact the person reporting the person being missing to determine if there is any additional information of use.
  2. The officer shall follow up on all relevant leads in the case.
  3. The officer shall coordinate with the department and other law enforcement agencies to conduct searches of locations on campus and adjacent to campus where the subject may be.
  4. The officer shall update the Confidential Contact and or the next of kin of the missing person as to the status of the investigation.

F. In the event the missing person is located, YSU Police Dispatch shall immediately remove the entry from NCIC concerning the missing person.

The investigating officer shall notify any other agency or entity which was involved in the investigation of the missing persons return.