When the missing aren't found, what happens next?

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Currently there are over 1200 people listed as missing on the Alaska State Troopers missing person’s clearinghouse. So what can people do if a friend or relative has been missing for a while?

"The biggest thing is just to contact law enforcement,” said AST investigator, Sergeant Jeremy Rupe. (John Dougherty/KTVF)

Alaska State Trooper investigator Jeremy Rupe said that the biggest thing is staying in contact with law enforcement. Even if it has been years, any new information or leads needs to be shared with investigators.

“Maybe it’s some old social media stuff that’s come up, maybe it’s some old cell phone stuff that’s come up, maybe it’s just some new information that you heard through a friend who told you something. The biggest thing is just to contact law enforcement,” Rupe said.

Another thing he said can help investigations is being cooperative with law enforcement if they contact you for new information. Rupe said sometimes they will contact people for DNA or dental information or to go over new details of a case. He encourages people to be willing to help.

Rupe also said that new investigators on a case may contact people involved to see if there is anything that was missed. One benefit of redoing interviews is that things that were overlooked can help lead the investigation in a new direction.

Rupe also said there are things not to do. "One of the biggest things is kind of investigating on your own and not sharing the information,” Rupe said. “A lot of these cases, especially if it's cases where someone has been met with foul play, you know, it's really important to be able to document and record any of those new developments that come in. That's why I said it's really important to contact law enforcement and let them, you know, give them the information and give them the opportunity to look into that new information."

Rupe also said to never hesitate to call law enforcement and ask for an update. He says it helps them remember that people still care and keeps the case on the front burner.

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