What to do when a person goes missing

What to do when a person goes missing

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - It's something that no one wants to face: their loved one going missing.

But it's something that can happen anywhere, to anyone, and if it does you need to know how to handle it. Here's what officials say you should do.

"You definitely need to notify the sheriff's office," Sgt. Michael McDaniel with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office said. "We are going to get there and start evaluating that entire situation."

Knowing what to do if a loved one is missing can make a huge difference, but going off of what you see on the big screen is not helpful. And playing with time is something that you can't do.

"TV, movies or Hollywood would say you've got a 24-hour time period. No, no ma'am. You do not have a 24-hour time period," McDaniel said. "It could be an hour. It could be 30 minutes. It could be 45 minutes. It could be an hour, two hours, three hours. There's no set time frame. It's literally the totality of the situation and the circumstances behind to why that person is not home."

This past weekend, close to 100 concerned citizens organized a search for a missing Edgefield woman, Tammy Kingery.

Kingery's husband Park said he last saw his wife on Sept. 20 when he was leaving to run errands. When he returned, Tammy was gone and had left a note on the table saying, "Went for a walk, be back soon. Love you."  Nine days later, Tammy still hasn't returned.

"Shocked, shocked," Karen McCall said. "Things like that don't happen. Well, they do, but not in your community, and when they do it's time for everyone to step up because who else is going to do it?"

Situations like this are difficult to cope with and officials say going at it alone is not the best option.

"Taking matters into your own hands can lead to a premature decision, and that's not really something that you want to do," McDaniel said. "Always notify the sheriff's office - whether it's Richmond County, Columbia County, North Augusta, Aiken County Jefferson County - you notify the authorities."

Officials say every situation is different and they won't rest until all the pieces of the puzzle are put together.

"Each circumstances, there is some kind of difference there. And we look into everything, we evaluate everything," McDaniel said. "From beginning to the end. And if it is leading to something that is a missing person with possible some kind of suspicious circumstances behind it, then we get our investigators involved."

Kingery's husband, Park put up a $1,000 reward for any information that is brought forward for the return of his wife. If you have any information on where she might be, contact the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office at 803-278-1625 or 803-637-5337.

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