How to Find a Person in America

by Amie Taylor
computer image by Orlando Florin Rosu from Fotolia.com

America is a huge country but even so, it's practically impossible to disappear without a trace. Going into complete hiding is difficult because our information is entered into numerous databases on a regular basis. Driver's license information, tax data, bank accounts, credit cards and other records make it relatively easy to trace a person despite whether they want to be found.

Step 1

Compile all the data you have about the person you are looking for. Her legal name, previous addresses, Social Security number, telephone numbers and date of birth are all useful information. Make a file of this information and keep it all in one convenient location.

Step 2

Contact any mutual acquaintances, friends of the person, co-workers, relatives and exes. It's possible someone, somewhere knows where this person is now. It's just a matter of finding the right connection. Even hearsay and rumors can contain a grain or truth that may put you on the right track.

Step 3

Search for the person on the internet. People finder websites such such as whitepages.com, spokeo.com, zabasearch.com, pipl.com and anywho.com can reveal addresses and phone numbers. Search social networking sites such as facebook.com, twitter.com and myspace.com to see if you can contact him via his own page. Check any mutual acquaintances to see if he is listed as a friend of theirs. Do a general Internet search. Type the his name into a search engine. Choose different options like images, news and video on the chance that you may find the information you need.

Step 4

Hire a paid service to locate her. This will give you more access to additional information than you can obtain on the free searches. Previous addresses, criminal records, relatives' names, marriage and divorce records and other information is available for a small fee. You can order a one-time report or purchase an ongoing subscription. Some of these services are intelius.com, integrascan.com and publicrecordfinder.com.

Step 5

Check public records. Look into databases and written records of marriages, births, deaths, arrests and other information. You never know where you might find that nugget of information to lead you to the person.

Step 6

Hire a private investigator. While this can be expensive, if all else fails, it may be your best option. A professional has access to information and methods that you may not be aware of.

Register her with the National Center for Missing Adults. You can only do this if you think she is in danger or has met with foul play. Email them at register@missingadults.org for info on how to accomplish this or access their guidelines at theyaremissed.org. Click "Services" and then choose "Register a Missing Person."


  • Be patient. Finding a person from your past can take time but if you are diligent, your chances of success are good.

Items you will need

  • Personal details of person to be found

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