Globalizing the Search for Missing Persons

Our Global Vision

The benefits of globalization have been touted for decades — cheaper and faster disbursement of information to international audiences; greater political cooperation on matters of global importance; the standardization of culture and language across national borders. All factors that should further improve responses to and closure of cases involving missing persons, unidentified remains, and unsolved homicides.

Simultaneously, those same globalization trends have created faster and cheaper transportation; broader reach for black markets; greater options for global logistics; increasingly open borders; and an ever growing influx of tourists, international businesspersons, and refugees. The result is the constant and complex movement of persons, data, and objects throughout the world. It is now substantially more likely to find victims, criminals, witnesses, and evidence moving between countries rapidly, cost-efficiently, and with limited trails for police to follow.

Concerningly, many areas with higher-than-normal disappearances and homicides are those countries and communities already impacted by difficult socio-economic settings. Key drivers in missing person and unsolved cases can include high population density, poverty, crime, civil unrest & local warfare, economic stress, and large expat / migrant / refugee communities. The transient nature of these areas significantly increases the vulnerability of an already struggling local population.

Exacerbating problems is the fact that despite the increasing global nature of crime, case investigations often remain largely localized. Cases are shared minimally across provincial or state borders and even more rarely broadcasted internationally. The decentralized nature of such approaches means information gathered at the initial, key stages is often non-standardized, mono-lingual, inaccurate, and all to frequently minimalist.

Lack of standardization and cooperation complicates investigations, frustrating the ability of foreign or international organizations to share key details and notices with the necessary global audience. Nor is the matter simply an issue of hindering public awareness; it can impact police and investigative forces as well. Cross-border investigations are frustrated by language barriers; red tape; untraceable and moving witnesses; and the complexity of monitoring the many domestic missing person databases across the globe.

At “Never Quit Looking“, we believe government and police agencies must promote cooperation in sharing and publicizing cases with each another and the public. We need the rapid and comprehensive sharing of detailed information, photos, and identifying features to a maximized audience. To facilitate this goal, greater standardization in data collection and more streamlined investigative practices are necessary.

Our Mission & Impact

Never Quit Looking builds on the developers’ expertise as attorneys, international business experts, global expats, and TESL certified professionals. We have built an integrated intake worksheet and online public database recording and publicizing information related to missing persons, unsolved homicides, and unidentified remains.

Our worksheet is deliberately structured to simplify both translatability and rapid integration into the online global database. With our global vision in mind, we have emphasized four targets:

  1. Comprehensiveness ➜ We examined dozens of databases across multiple countries and carefully integrated the different elements into a single offering that is in-depth and exhaustive. Everything from basic demographics (height, weight, hair color, etc.) to vehicle descriptions, age progressed photos, and references to affiliated cases are included.
  2. Linguistic Simplicity ➜ We deliberately selected simple terms and phrases within both the form and database to improve the form’s translatability across all major languages.
  3. Standardization ➜ We provide the international arena with a single platform that can be utilized by persons and agencies in any country. With our integrated and easily translatable form and database, Never Quit Looking offers law enforcement and governmental agencies a way to standardize the process of gathering and sharing information across borders.
  4. Filterability ➜ We provide a substantial filtering system with 25+ options for sorting and narrowing down results within the database. This allows investigators and researchers the opportunity to identify global trends, to facilitate matching missing persons and unidentified remains, and locate related cases appearing across borders.

Case files are predominantly compiled from government websites, national databases, personal websites dedicated to missing persons, and social media.

The ultimate purpose of “Never Quit Looking” is to provide a standardized, comprehensive, searchable platform for families, law enforcement, government agencies, and NGOs to research and share cases that remain unresolved domestically for 6 months or more to a global audience.

The database:

  1. Compiles data about cases from around the world into a single location for use internationally or where the case might involve multiple countries.
  2. Provides an easily searched, easily translated, easily accessed database that can be readily used by persons regardless of language or nationality.
  3. Establishes a detailed, well-researched, and frequently updated database for increased reliability.
  4. Offers extensive filters for easy case identification where limited information about a case is known.
  5. Identifies cross-border trends and patterns.
  6. Facilitates the identification and comparison of relevant, global missing persons cases with unidentified remains.
  7. Increases exposure of unresolved cases to a diversified, international audience.

Other Services:

Although cases are not integrated generally until 6 months or more has passed, cases reported sooner are rapidly shared on our blog and will be automatically uploaded into the database on the 6-Month mark if still unresolved. We believe that information needs to be gathered about the victim rapidly to preserve key data in the tragic event that time passes and memories weaken before the case is resolved. As such, we encourage agencies and individuals to contact as soon as possible with the case details to ensure it is incorporated fully and details well maintained.

In addition to offering the “Never Quit Looking” database, The Suitcase Detective also provides families and authorities with a clean, easy to share poster with the relevant details in English and in the native language.

We also serve as consultants and speakers at public events. We are interested in speaking to your audience (online or in person). Email Us or use our Contact Form.

Value Statement

As attorneys ourselves, we believe strongly in protecting the rights on the innocent and bringing justice to the victims. To that extent, our work is guided for five core values:

  • Privacy: We believe that every person has the right to privacy and the protection of their information where possible. This includes our users, the victims, and persons involved in a case.
    • With regards to our users privacy, feel free to review our privacy policy.
    • For the victims, we have policies in place to assist those who wish their cases to be removed; to eliminate the publication of information regarding children where cases are resolved or where the information is not public information; and to minimize sharing cases where there is suspicion the victim is purposefully in hiding.
    • We also believe that all people are innocent until proven guilty, especially when those speculating are not directly involved with the situation. We do not and will not encourage accusing or doxing persons not formally identified by police as eyewitnesses or suspects. The rights of the victims of crime are significant, but so too are the rights of the victims of the justice systems.
  • Objectivity: We make every effort to eliminate bias or supposition in our case analyses. We establish the facts as they have been established and attempt to provide an in-depth summary of all known information. However, we avoid conjecture regarding events or persons not established as a fact or supported with sourced materials.
  • Reliability: Our articles and case files are all sourced by professional primary or secondary materials. Our core sources are law enforcement; governmental; and reputable charities, NGOs, and alternative databases. We also supplement our information with journal articles and newspaper articles. Where information is questionable or sources conflict, those instances are noted and sources provided. All of our articles are sourced and offer reference lists at the end of the article. We make every effort to ensure cases are updated and closed stories are removed. We also maintain a list of closed files for users to compare against images or articles that may be shared online to identify if that case remains open. With this said, we do our best but are depending on information provided by 2nd or 3rd parties – consequently this database is intended for general information purposes only and is not to be relied upon for official purposes. Please contact the officials involved for formal requests.
  • Fairness: Cases are processed in the order in which they are received or at random as we come across them in our own research. Cases are selected regardless of particular features of the case or personal characteristics of the victim. We attempt to cover a variety of countries, establishing a diverse database.
  • Honor & Respect: We make every effort to demonstrate honor and respect for both the victim and their family. To that extent we avoid graphic or inappropriate imagery and provide warnings where information may be distressing. We seek only to preserve the memory of the victim and to share their story while simultaneously facilitating the search for justice in their case.