Fowler-O'Sullivan Foundation

Get Help Finding A Missing Hiker

When a hiker you love goes missing you are thrown into a stressful, overwhelming situation and there is much to do all at once. But there are people and organizations who can help. Even if we can not work your case in person, we provide counsel free of charge over the phone or thru email and can help you vet any search resource you are considering. (Unfortunately there are a few out there you should avoid.) Here are links to online advice, organizations, and search groups we recommend.
List of First Steps: What To Do First

List of First Steps: What To Do First

  1. Contact law enforcement and complete a missing person report (you do not have to wait 24 hours)

  2. Provide appropriate recent photos, which may be used across media.

  3. Provide a list and/or photos of clothing, shoes and gear.

  4. Create a written timeline of last known events and movements of missing person.

  5. Ask LE to organize a search immediately.

  6. Recruit volunteers or search and rescue organizations (such as Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation)

  7. Ask LE to enter case into NCIC and Namus. If missing person is under age 21, contact National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)

  8. Create a missing person flyer here

  9. Contact family and friends for assistance.

  10. Keep a written record of all contacts, actions, discussions and correspondence.

  11. Contact media and create social media pages.

  12. Contact Fowler-O’Sullivan if assistance is needed:
    (877) 467-3363 (Hope FOF)

    30141 Antelope Rd., Suite D664
    Menifee, Ca 92584

Click the button above for a step by step actions list you need to take if you have a missing person.

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(877) 467-3363

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30141 Antelope Rd., Suite D664
Menifee, CA 92584


The Missing Persons Advocacy Network in Australia has assembled an in-depth, well-organized guide with lots of helpful information.

A hiker/blogger authored a step-by-step guide to help families of the missing. “If I became a missing person…” offers step-by-step actions for families to take.

Trusted Organizations:

Western States Aerial Search (WSAS) is a team of volunteer drone pilots dedicated to searching for missing persons in the Western United States. There is never a fee for using WSAS.

Investigative Resources:

In recovery and cold case missions, DNA evidence can play a critical part. Dr. Monte Miller and his company, Forensic DNA Experts, provide an array of DNA analysis and consulting services.

The Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation

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