Are you seeking a missing person?
The San Francisco Police Department's Special Victims Unit is responsible for investigating missing persons cases. A missing person may be the victim of a crime, in need of immediate medical attention or physically or mentally impaired. They may also be missing voluntarily.
If you think you know the whereabouts of a missing person, contact the SFPD non-emergency number at 1-415-553-0123 to provide any relevant information.
If the person is at immediate risk, if you suspect foul play or if a child is involved, call 9-1-1.
To report a missing person:
- Call or visit a police station to make a police report. If possible, do this in the district where the person was last seen. To find contact information for that district station, click here to “Find Your Station.”
- Be prepared to provide information including the name of missing person, their date of birth or age, a physical description and medical information, if available. Police will need to know the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and the last known location of the missing person. Other helpful information may include the missing person's phone number, email address, known associates' contact information and a photograph.
- Being a missing person is not a crime. The SFPD may not be able to help you find friends or relatives who have lost contact with each other. Be advised that we cannot provide information on a missing person’s whereabouts or address without their consent.
Please contact the district station where you filed your missing persons report for information on a case less than 30 days old. After 30 days, the case will be transferred to the Special Victims Unit if the person has not been found. You may email us at SFPDMissingPersonsUnit@sfgov.org for more information.
If the missing person returns
In most cases, the missing person will eventually show up or contact friends or relatives. If this happens, please notify police as soon as possible. The missing person must be seen in person by a police officer at any police station to be removed from our database. If the person is within San Francisco, you may call the SFPD non-emergency line at 1-415-553-0123 to have an officer come to you.
If the missing person remains missing
Most missing person cases are solved within a few days or weeks. Some investigations go on for several months or even years. In such situations, you may want to enlist the services of a private investigator. If you have posters made to aid in the search, please contact the investigator assigned to your case before you distribute them to ensure it will not interfere with police efforts. Notify the investigator assigned to your case if you change your address or phone number.
- Local hospitals.
- Local homeless shelters.
- San Francisco Sheriff Inmate Locator (http://apps.sfgov.org/InmateInfo/)
- San Francisco Medical Examiner (http://sfgov.org/medexaminer/)
- If you have the missing person’s Social Security Number, you may be able to get help from your local Social Security Administration office. Write a letter to the missing person and put it in an envelope with his or her name, then write another letter to the Social Security Administration with the person’s SSN, explaining that you are looking for this person. Send both letters to the Social Security office and ask that the enclosed letter be forwarded to the missing person’s last known address.
- Contact the Salvation Army, which offers help for families seeking a missing relative.