It is often difficult to determine where a person is missing from. Careful consideration must be given in determining if a person is missing from campus, from a residence hall, from an off campus residence, from a permanent residence, or from a place of employment or recreation.

The disappearance of a person may occur under a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to, abduction (by family, by romantic interest, by stranger), intentional flight or concealment (runaway), withdrawal or separation from the institution or when a person becomes lost, disoriented and unable to “find their way”.  Until proven otherwise, each case shall be treated as occurring under the most urgent circumstances.

Law enforcement agencies may have policies that do not provide for report taking when a person is first thought to be missing. Circumstances such as age, time and place last seen, mental health and personal circumstances may affect their decision to take a report.

College students frequently reside in communal situations. Roommates, suitemates and other residents may have privacy concerns and expectations that should be considered, when appropriate. However, the most important concern is the safety of the missing person.

The location from where a person is missing may be a crime scene. It should be treated as such until determined otherwise.