The use of Private Investigators for Historical Locates

Did you know? A Locate is considered ‘historical’ if the last known address of that person was over five years ago. A Private Investigator explains why he is passionate about these types of cases.

 GUEST POST: Just like during my time as a Police Detective, being a Private Investigator means a variety of new and different jobs coming through each day.  Who knows what the next call or email from prospective clients will bring! And believe me they range from anything from puppy farm investigations, online scammers, identifying online stalkers, fraud cases, corporate espionage to celebrity infidelity – Even the mysterious case of a lost black cat! The list goes on and on…

By far my favourite and most fulfilling investigations are historical locates – I am addicted to them. Unlike the police force, I now have the time and resources to fully exhaust every avenue available to me to secure a positive outcome for my Clients. And when I say positive outcome, I am not just referring to a successful outcome on paper – In many cases the reunion of family members and discovery of previously unknown blood relative can be absolutely life changing for those involved. 

To say I don’t get personally involved in these cases would be a lie! Each case actually becomes a bit of an obsession, especially where other investigators or family members have tried and failed.

Taking the time to deal with Clients is not something that I had the opportunity of in the police force – well rarely anyway. And of course, finding family members or reuniting unsuspecting fathers with adult children is not really in a police officers job description.

 Some clients supply me with pages of information, leading to many leads and avenues of enquiries, but unfortunately this is more the exception than the rule.  One client, desirous of finding her son’s biological father, the result of a one-night stand in Africa in 1969, certainly had its challenges, but a successful outcome none the less.

 The most recent case was Mike*, a young man in his 20’s, who recently discovered his actual biological father was a US Naval officer who spent a year in Australia 26 years ago. No date of birth, a common American surname and possibly once lived in Seattle.

For some reason Mike, a really decent young man tugged at my heart strings and there was nothing I wouldn’t do to help find his father. Eventually I did track his father down and was then faced with breaking the news to him of an Australian child he had no knowledge of. They now speak often and Mike is currently visiting him in the US…

But I must say my favourite job this year was one that had me scratching my head at first. The client named ‘Bear*’ was from ‘Ghana’ and worked at the ‘TSB Bank’ To say red flags were waving was an understatement. I mean seriously, we track down scammers all the time and here is a guy fitting the stereotype to a tee. But how could Teddy be running a scam when he was going to pay us to find his mother’s half siblings? 

Well it wasn’t a scam and I set about trying to locate a John,* Lisa* and Anna* with an extremely common Australian surname. Their father having produced a child in Ghana in 1947. 

After finally locating these unsuspecting half siblings, I was once again faced with delivering news of a Ghana resident, working at the Barclay bank being a relative. Obviously they had the same suspicions of a scam as I initially did. Also there was the disbelief that their father could have possibly had an affair whilst married to their mother.

Eventually, with the aid of DNA tests, a 72-year-old Ghana woman had finally found and been accepted by her half siblings and families. When I last spoke to them, they were talking each night on WhatsApp and I’m guessing a face to face reunion is probably not too far off.

In all there is a positive side to Private Investigations.

*Names have been changed for privacy 

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