Reliable service provided by experienced international investigators Missing Persons

Finding Missing Persons Since 1977

Research Associates was first established in August 1977 as a specialist detective agency for the location of missing persons, and has since evolved into an approachable, highly professional and multi-faceted intelligence and investigation organisation with a reputation for delivering unparalleled results for its clients. Finding missing persons is an exacting art, requiring extensive knowledge of open-source intelligence, fieldwork, legal acquisition of private information, and other more traditional tracing techniques. We are adept at finding people in a lawful, confidential, sensitive and cost-effective manner.

With over 40 years of experience serving private citizens, company executives, entrepreneurs, and business and public sector organisations, Research Associates has a unique wealth of industry knowledge and experience and provides an unrivalled degree of customer service.

Common Missing Persons Investigations:

  • Missing or lost family members and long-lost friends
  • Former partners to re-establish contact
  • Adopted or fostered children’s birth parents or siblings
  • Family members given up for adoption at birth
  • Parents in arrears with child maintenance
  • Seriously ill or dead people who have ‘disappeared’
  • Beneficiaries of a will, inheritance, gift or prize
  • Debtors, including people who may be actively avoiding being located (see Debtor Tracing)
  • Persons required for legal purposes (see Process Serving)

How we operate

Research Associates offers a specialised service locating the current confirmed whereabouts of missing persons throughout the UK and internationally. Furthermore, where required, we supply valuable background information (including place of employment, telephone numbers, email addresses or other contact details, and specific intelligence relating to the instruction provided) contained in a written legal report.

We avoid basing research solely on databases or any other sole source of information (which may not be current), preferring to fully substantiate our findings before reporting. We routinely find partners, children, relatives, family, friends, as well as debtors (if you are specifically tracing a debtor, please see our Debtor Tracing page, as there are further resources we may access that we may not have the right to use under other circumstances).

When looking to find people who are missing or that you have lost touch with, family, friends, or a debtor who owes money, Research Associates offers a comprehensive and successful trace/locate service for the tracing of missing people within the UK, Europe and internationally. Our highly experienced private investigators successfully find people with minimal information, often under challenging circumstances; we are happy to assist in the more complex cases where other investigators may be unable or unwilling to help.

Research Associates’ network of wide-ranging resources allows us the best possible chance of finding a missing person or persons who are actively avoiding being traced.

How long does it take? What does it cost?

Research Associates conducts missing persons investigations on a strictly confidential basis. The depth of service and cost will reflect individual requirements, which depend on the situation and possible location of the subject. We assure confidentiality at all times; the subject remains unaware of our enquiries, which we conduct with absolute sensitivity and discretion at all times. As with all cases, Research Associates ensures we keep clients apprised of the progress of their case and consult them on any crucial decision.

The cost of finding people essentially depends on the available information about the person’s circumstances and, therefore, the complexity of the investigation and searches required to locate a person. Our service ensures we find the most linear, straightforward approach to finding a person. This is accomplished by asking the right questions before starting enquiries. Having up-to-date background facts reduces the cost of the investigation in comparison to the more complex requirements of locating people whose whole identity is unknown, tracing birth parents or tracing people internationally.

What next?

Since each investigation is unique, we strongly recommend you call us directly to talk through your situation with one of our experienced detectives, who know the right questions to ask to better understand your investigation requirements and how we can help. The more detail you can give of the person to be located, the better, as this will allow for a more time- and cost-effective investigation. A quick call will also enable you to understand how we work and will allow us to give a clear plan of action, costs and timeframe.

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How It Works

Our Investigation Process

We offer a confidential consultation, tailored investigation strategy, and rapid, detailed reporting.


Contact Us

Get in touch for a FREE, no-obligation, private consultation. Discuss your circumstances, the obstacles you encounter, and the objectives you aim to fulfill through your investigation.


Set the Plan

We will propose a tailor-made approach and specific tactics for your situation, utilising our extensive array of services. Transparent pricing will be provided, and your plan will be agreed upon before we proceed with the investigation.


Get the Information

Our expert private investigators will carry out a discreet, comprehensive, and professional investigation, providing a detailed report within 24 hours of completion, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the findings.


Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re looking to find a missing person, the first step is to contact law enforcement and report the person as missing. They will initiate an investigation. Additionally, consider hiring a professional private investigator with experience in missing persons cases. Private investigators can conduct thorough investigations, including tracing individuals through various databases, interviewing relevant contacts, and using tracking methods to locate the missing person.

The time it takes to find a missing person can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Some cases are resolved quickly, while others may take longer due to complexities. Hiring a professional private Investigator can expedite the process.

During the consultation, our experienced team will listen to your situation attentively. We will ask questions to gather more details and provide you with insights into how we can assist you. You can expect a respectful, informative, and compassionate discussion.

Since 1977, we’ve been known for our outstanding quality of service, which includes professional and experienced investigators, access to legal intelligence, state-of-the-art techniques, comprehensive coverage, fast response, and excellent standards of practice.


Credible Legal Investigation

Research Associates is proud to be associated with prestigious organisations in the field of investigation and forensic sciences. As a distinguished member of the UK’s Association of British Investigators, we uphold the highest standards of professional conduct and ethical practices.

Furthermore, our affiliation with The Institute of Professional Investigators and the World Association of Detectives Inc. underscores our commitment to global excellence in the investigative industry.

We also take pride in our membership with the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, which demonstrates our dedication to advancing forensic science and maintaining the highest level of expertise in our field.

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Get in Touch

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    Research Associates

    It is important to discuss the nature of your situation and agree, strategy, timeframe and cost before moving forward. If you are unable to call now on 020 7243 1000, use our contact form.

    Meet the Team

    Leadership Team

    Paul Hawkes

    Director (MD) / Principal Investigator

    Martin Tomlins-Young

    Director / Senior Investigator

    Harry Gottlieb

    Director / Senior Investigator