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Off topic: How to locate a missing person??
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:02
Flemish to English
+ ...
Feb 20, 2008

7 years ago a member of my family vanished. Until four years ago, he left a trace.
After that nobody knows where he is. In the U.K., if you are a E.U.-citizen, you do not have to register at town hall. You can give yourself another name and vanish...
It may be that this person is either in the UK, but how to find him or that he is in Fribourg, Switzerland. Any tips on how to find this person (through bank-account, utility bill) would be appreciated.

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Zamira*****  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:02
Member (2006)
English to Uzbek
+ ...
Couple of sites Feb 20, 2008


If they got married in the UK you can also try where you look up marriage records as well as birth and death records.

actually if you google for 'tracing people' you will get plenty of other sites but the above were particularly helpful and free for me couple of years ago and goodluck.

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Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:02
English to Slovak
+ ... Feb 20, 2008


No specific reply/advace, but try this website:

There are lots of different links depending on who you are looking for and what information you have about them.

Good luck!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
You Feb 21, 2008

You are the best resource.

You will generally be denied access to official or company records. However, by checking on the Net by using different names and parameters you know (including any possible aliases), you could find a presence and thus clues. You can do that at your own computer.

Start gathering all the information you can about this relative, confirmed and unconfirmed. Follow up on all of it, if you reach a blind alley, then start working on another part of it. Keep working, and keep thinking about what he/she might have done and what he/she might be doing. The mind is powerful.

It will take a lot of leg work, phone calls and e-mails, etc. Try to find people who knew this person at work, at school, where he/she used to live and any other place or group this person might have frequented. Maybe there have been recent contacts with former acquaintances. Build on those you find by asking them for names and contact information on further acquaintances and follow up on them. Even though they have had no contacts, they can often provide more information to be investigated.

I'm not saying it will be easy at all, but it can be done. I've done it, and I was successful.

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ibz  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:02
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
In Switzerland Feb 21, 2008

If this person is in Switzerland, he would have to register at the local municipality, even more so if he is from abroad. You even have to register if you're Swiss and you're simply moving. So if this person is still using his real name, you would have a good chance to find him. Or you can also try to find the name via the telephone register (, provided he has a telephone.
If you need more specific information about Switzerland, please feel free to contact me.
Good luck!

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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
People don't necessarily register for anything.... Feb 21, 2008

especially if they have disappeared, and ESPECIALLY if they have disappeared for their own motives.

When I worked in Holland, many of my (English) colleagues were completely oblivious of the need to register at town hall. When I pointed this out, they weren't bothered anyway, it was a waste of time explaining it.

In the UK you can change your name by deed poll for about 25 quid, as often as you like. And anyone who does this usually has a specific reason for doing so, whether there is anything sinister in it or not...and anyone who goes abroad, using their own name or another, will not necessarily register themselves for the reason explained above: but there are many other reasons too.

A sad case in today's local news was of an Irishman working illegally in America; he took ill, but feared going to the hospital in case they 'found out' his lack of green card status. Now he is dead due to a lack of badly needed medical attention.

I think your only saving grace, Williamson, in your case, is the fact that for four years he was traceable, and still might be to this day. Put on your detective's hat and I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours.


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Local time: 01:02
English to German
+ ...
Good luck Feb 21, 2008

I don't have any advice to give you unfortunately but I wish you good luck in finding the missing person.

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