Missing children and adults alike should be reported to local law enforcement agencies. After reporting the disappearance to the police, parents of missing children can also contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for more information on the next steps they should take.
There is no time limit before a person can be reported missing. Though many television shows and movies show police requiring 24 to 48 hours before a person can be considered missing, this rule does not exist in real law enforcement offices. When filing the missing person's report, the reporting party should provide as many identifying details as possible and try to present police with multiple photographs of the missing person.