Ask a Dispatcher
Q. At what point does a non-communicative 20 year old daughter become a missing person and merit an official report?
Dear Juneau Resident,
This question can be read, and therefore answered, in a couple of different ways.
JPD dispatch has lots of experience with young people choosing not to communicate with parents and parents objecting to the estrangement. Not too much you can do about that. The law says once a person has reached his or her 18th birthday, they are independent. The young person can choose to use drugs, be in abusive relationships, fail to treat mental or physical illness, the list goes on and on. You might be able to find a non-threatening third party who can negotiate some communication. A counselor, family member or friend might be able to help. Probably not an appropriate situation for the police unless other elements are met (keep reading).
The second way this question can be interpreted is that the daughter has an impairment that makes it difficult or impossible for her to communicate with others. In that case, there may be grounds for a missing person report depending on information gathered from those people who have regular contact with her. If you do not have regular contact with your daughter, perhaps you know people, like professional caretakers or friends, who do have regular contact with her. You can call them and ask if there has been any indication to them that your daughter has gone missing.
To report your daughter missing, you need to look past relationships issues and report what is going on with her behavior. JPD uses the following definition for Missing Person-ďA person whose whereabouts is unknown and unexplainable for a period of time that is regarded by knowledgeable parties, as highly unusual or suspicious considering the personís behavior patterns, plans or routines.Ē