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A skip trace no one else wanted!

We have just finished a skip trace assignment for an amazing client who wanted assurance her friend was safe and well.
Her friend, an overseas national had disappeared over three years ago from an arranged marriage. She reported the disappearance of her friend to the police and she was informed they were unable to locate her, she was not considered a vulnerable person and they would not proceed with the case. My client tried to use social media and posters to find leads without success.

I just need to know that she is safe and well!

Over the past three years my client approached a number of investigation companies who could not take on the case due to the low chance of success. At the point where she was ready to give up, an HR consultant familiar with our service put us in touch!
Got to love word of mouth referrals!
We met over coffee, and due to loving a challenge and working with caring genuine people we took on the assignment. We informed the client that even if we did find her friend we may not be able to reveal her location. This information would be dependant on the wishes of her friend, and was something out of our control.
Sometimes people just don’t want to be found and have genuine reasons for their actions. We would never jeopardise anyone’s safety or rights to privacy.

A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. Elbert Hubbard

After four weeks of chasing down leads we were able to identify an address where we believed her friend was now living. She had moved 60 kilometers to the opposite side of the city. She had also changed her name.
We needed at this point, to confirm we had the right person and ensure that she was safe and well. We needed to find out whether she wanted my client to know where she was.
We quickly confirmed this was the person we were looking for. We explained who we were and the reason why we had knocked on her door. We explained that our client had retained us to find her and only wanted to know that she was safe and well.
After a few tears and learning about the relationship that this lady and my client had, she told us the reason she had disappeared. It was clear that I was not going to be able to tell my client where she was.

If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan not the goal

We knew that just a verbal explanation would not alleviate the concern that my client had. So, I asked if we could take a selfie photograph together and she agreed. We took the photograph and thanked her for her time and assured her that I would not disclose where she is now living.
Before I left, I gave the lady my clients phone number and asked if she felt comfortable could she call her friend?
Later that day I called my client and gave her the news that I had located her friend and that she appeared safe and well. I provided my client with the selfie photograph of her friend with me. The joy and relief in my client’s voice is the reason I will take on other “low chance of success” assignments in the future.
The cherry on the cake for this investigation was that evening I heard from my client. She was crying but she was able to tell me that she had just got off the phone to her friend.
An assignment that truly emphasises some of our key business principles, to investigate with honesty and integrity. Success can be measured in many different ways.

1 thought on “A skip trace no one else wanted!”

  1. Well done Richard. Skip tracing can be very rewarding when you work cases like this. We should look at putting up some success stories from some of the skip tracing students. I am sure there will be some interesting ones out there.

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