Skip Tracing: Discovering Individuals Who Can’t Be Discovered – Information – The Rolla Each day Information – Rolla, MO

Skip tracing: A skill used to locate a person or people who have been disconnected from their previous social network. The term derives from the euphemism “skip town” and the subsequent “pursuit” activity that occurs when others try to find it.

Skip tracing: A skill used to locate a person or people who have been disconnected from their previous social network. The term derives from the euphemism “skip town” and the subsequent “pursuit” activity that occurs when others try to find it.
When Amanda Caudill, who lives in St. James, went missing on December 15, 2014, her disappearance was reported across the community, state and even nationwide.
A Facebook page, Please Help Find Amanda Caudill, quickly garnered more than 2,800 likes and served as a message board for sharing information about her last known whereabouts and, of course, speculation.
Hundreds of concerned community members offered to help find Caudill, but she is still missing.
This is followed by an interview with St. James resident Tim McDonald, a 15-year-old ex-police officer who now owns bail bonds with his wife Tasha McDonald.
The St. James Leader Journal reached out to McDonalds for an interview about skipping jumps and the process of investigating a missing person.
Tim McDonald noted that he is not involved in the investigation into the Caudill case and cannot speculate about it. All information regarding Caudill’s location should be directed to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

What is skip tracing?
McDonald: Skip tracing is a broad term that describes a range of skills and practices used in a variety of professions from bail, repossession, police to reporter. It’s about finding people or things that are missing or don’t want to be found. Generally, when people go missing, they either go missing voluntarily when they are disconnected, or they are unable to make contact for some reason.

Have you ever worked on a missing person case?
McDonald: Yeah. I was a cop for about 15 years, at St. James for 13 years. Time is very critical. Most of the time it has been my experience when adults are missing they just don’t want to be found for a period of time. And there can be various reasons for this. It could be an argument they had with someone close, or it could be a mental health issue. Again, this has nothing to do with specific cases, but if it is a psychological problem it is very important to track it down quickly so that you can receive effective treatment if that is the cause of the breakup.
There is also a difference between missing adults and missing children. Children are usually not missed alone. But adults have that option, and sometimes for some reason people feel the need to disconnect from their social circle.
Then there are cases where someone has forced them to separate from their social circle. But most of the time, it’s usually a voluntary breakup at some level.

When did you start working as a Bail Bondsman?
McDonald: We got into the business about three years ago. Bail bonds are interesting. It’s like the police. There is something different every day. We had to travel a lot last year. We had to go to Las Vegas and El Paso to track people down.
We are licensed as bail bonds by the state of Missouri, not as private investigators. However, the jump skipping skills are still the same. It’s still about interviewing people and knocking on doors.

What resources are used when skipping traces?
McDonald: When you skip, you are dealing with different elements. You are dealing with staff. You are dealing with people willing to give you information. It’s just about going out and knocking on doors, talking to people and asking them questions. It’s one of those things that involves a lot of door knocking and footwork. There are other assets as well.
Essentially, you are collecting information and trying to determine which information is important or relevant and which is not. You can also collect information from other resources. There are electronic resources for collecting. Social media can provide useful information.
Everyone has a focus. This also applies to someone who has split up or someone who is fleeing the police. They need to have a focus that provides resources to them.

What do you mean by focus?
McDonald: Everyone has the same needs. They need food, shelter and the everyday resources that make life possible for them. People just can’t go into the forest and expect to survive. You must have something for her. Part of skip tracing is understanding what that thing is. We couldn’t wander to another city and be given the things we need to survive.
People who are wanted by the police, for example, cannot go to another city and expect to get a job. In the US, you need a driver’s license or social security card to get a job. Therefore, they need to have someone close by who enables them to live on their resources. Part of this is tracking down those who might be able to assist the missing person.
There are rare exceptions. There are some people who are very adept at wandering to an unfamiliar city and meeting someone they don’t know and saying, “Hey, can I live with you?” and use that person as a resource. But for most people that is not possible.

How do you learn skip tracing?
McDonald: It’s a learned skill. There are certain methods. Reporters use many of the same skills. It’s just about gathering information. The real skill is in determining what information is useful once you’ve gathered it. But just going out and pounding on the street is just the job of it.

What are some of the difficulties in finding a missing person?
McDonald: People usually have information that is useful to them, but they don’t always know that it is useful to them. They know things that they will tell you when you ask the right question and they didn’t even realize it was important. Sometimes it’s just a matter of sitting down with someone, going through the information they know, and asking the right question.
In a missing person case, they assign the case to a detective. If it is a missing adult, check their wellbeing. This is a nationwide warning that says whether the police should contact this person to make sure they are okay. Missing adults who voluntarily separate do not commit a disappearance crime. Still, there is often concern that the issues are other.
The other thing that would happen would be for the investigative agency to go to the nearest police station in the area where the missing person was last seen and provide any information related to the case. Due to the case load and limited resources, it is very difficult to take a detective and move him to another area for a very long time. It costs money because you have to take someone else and put them on the 25-30 cases that the other investigator is already working on.

How often is an adult missing?
McDonald: It’s pretty common. Adults are constantly missing. St. Louis has entire streets full of people that someone is probably looking for somewhere. The homeless.
There are approximately 40 million mentally ill people in the US, many of whom go missing at some point for various reasons related to mental illness and end up in different locations.
We found people who were at risk or missing and who just hitchhiked or walked to the show.
So these things are common.
The main point in solving these cases is whether the separation is voluntary or not. And once you’ve figured out that it’s voluntary and that the person is not posing a threat to themselves or others, the police take that out of the equation pretty well. Because it’s not a crime to just pack up your things and go. But the question that we don’t know is whether someone is forcing them or forcing them, and that is the question the police are dealing with.

Still missing: Amanda Caudill
There had been no evidence of contact with Amanda Caudill as of press Tuesday evening, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the investigation.
A press release dated December 22nd contained a description of Caudill and the last known contact.
Amanda is described as a white woman; 27 years old; 5 feet, 6 inches by 5 feet, 9 inches tall; with blue eyes and short blonde hair. Amanda has both ears pierced as well as her right nostril. It is believed that Amanda is one Wore a camouflage jacket and insulated boots (when she went missing) but no other clothing description was given A handwritten note was left at the residence and it is believed that Amanda went to start a new life last seen in Rolla this morning of December 15th. ”
The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department is encouraging anyone with information on the case to call Central Communications at 573-775-4911

Comments are closed.