Are you looking for a long-lost friend, lover or family member? If so, this article will give you all the tools you need to find them without spending a dime. All searches listed here are free and provide accurate results. Our Miami private investigators have used these tools as adjuncts to our private investigator databases to locate people for many years and they don’t usually let us down. If you’re ready to be your own private investigator, let’s begin!
Step 1 – Always begin your search with good ol’ Google.
This may be obvious, but it may be so obvious that it’s sometimes overlooked. Do a basic search like this: “Person’s name, Florida”. You may be surprised with what you find. This may show active social media accounts, phone numbers and addresses.
Step 2 – Run their name through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and other free websites.
If they don’t show up on any of these social media platforms, try running the name of a friend or of a family member of theirs. Then search this person’s friend list on Facebook to see if you recognize the person you’re looking for in any of the pictures. Keep in mind that they may be using a fake name.
Other good websites that are completely free are:
Step 3 – Check the jails and prisons.
If you’ve taken all the steps above and found no trace of the person, it would make sense that they may be incarcerated. For the prison inmate search, you can go here:
Click on ‘Search All Corrections Offender Databases’, enter the person’s name and start searching. This particular website will show all individuals that currently are or have been in the state’s prison system. It does not show jail information. Remember, jails are operated by the counties and prisons are operated by the state. To search jails, you need to have an idea of what county the person lived in. Then you would Google ‘name of county + jail search’. This will give you a list of sites that show these records. Always choose the official county site and not these private, paid sites. For example, if a person lived in Broward County, you would go here:
If they lived in Miami-Dade County, you would search here:
Step 4 – Check death records. You can look for orbituaries online or you can try the site here:
You can also check this site for records, but it tends to be have older information, meaning that you might not be able to find records from the last 5 years:
Step 6 – Look for the person’s relatives and call them.
If you know the relative’s names, look them up. If not, you should have been able to collect some relatives’ information through the steps listed above. If you had a good relationship with the person and you just want to reconnect, explaining your story to the person you call will most likely result in a positive response. If you don’t know the person that you are looking for (e.g. biological mother or father) or if you did not have a great relationship with them, you can try doing a ‘pretext’. A pretext is a term used by private investigators, which basically refers to using a fictitious story to obtain information. So, when you call the person’s relatives, you can say that you went to high school with them and would like to personally invite them to the reunion or something similar. They may be nice enough to give you the person’s direct phone number.
It should be noted that this step was left for last because it’s often used as a last resort. Calling someone’s friends’ or family can be somewhat intrusive and may not be well-received. Therefore, it should be mentioned, that you should only call these people once. Under no circumstances should you call anyone repeatedly. This can be construed as harassment, so please use common sense.
We hope that these tips help you find the person that you’re looking for. If you’re still stuck after following all these tips, please contact us and we will find them for you. We utilize paid databases that are only available to licensed private investigators. These databases compile data from credit bureaus, utility companies and other accurate sources of information that are not available to the general public. Our basic search reports are $75 and are usually sent to you within 1 business day.