TITLE 11

Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Law-Enforcement Administration

CHAPTER 85. STATE BUREAU OF IDENTIFICATION

Subchapter II. Missing Persons


The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this subchapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) "Complaint'' shall mean any report, notification or information given to a law-enforcement officer that a person is missing or cannot, with reasonable care, be located;

(2) "Missing person'' shall mean a person who is missing, and who also meets 1 of the following characteristics:

a. Such person is physically or mentally disabled;

b. Such person was, or is, in the company of another person under circumstances indicating that the missing person's safety may be in danger;

c. Such person is missing under circumstances indicating that the disappearance was not voluntary;

d. Such person is an unemancipated minor.

(3) "Unemancipated minor'' shall mean a minor who has not married, and who resides with a parent or other legal guardian.

(4) "Verified location'' shall mean the location where it has been confirmed that the missing person was last seen. Such confirmation may include credible witness identification and or video surveillance or similar technology verification.

65 Del. Laws, c. 48, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 327, § 1.;

A missing person complaint may be made to any county, town, city or state law-enforcement agency or any other appropriate state agency. The law-enforcement agency having primary jurisdiction over the verified location where a missing person was last seen shall be responsible for receiving a missing person complaint and initiating the investigation. If the location where the missing person was last seen cannot be verified, the law-enforcement agency having primary jurisdiction over the missing person's last known place of residence shall be responsible for receiving a missing person complaint and initiating the investigation. Such complaint shall state the age of the missing person. When an agency has received a missing person complaint, such agency shall immediately disseminate all known facts concerning the missing person to all county and state law-enforcement agencies, and to any other law-enforcement agency which may be appropriate. A new missing person complaint shall have high priority.

65 Del. Laws, c. 48, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 327, § 1.;

The law-enforcement agency which has primary jurisdiction in the area from which a missing person complaint has been filed shall prepare, as soon as practicable, a report on the missing person. Such report shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) All information contained in the original complaint;

(2) All information or evidence gathered by the preliminary investigation, if one was made;

(3) A statement, by the law-enforcement officer in charge, setting forth that officer's assessment of the case, based upon all evidence and information received;

(4) Any additional, supplemental or unusual information which the agency feels may be of importance in locating the missing person.

65 Del. Laws, c. 48, § 2.;

Upon completion of the missing person report, the law-enforcement agency shall send a copy of the report to:

(1) Each law-enforcement officer having jurisdiction over the location in which the missing person was last seen, or the missing person's last known place of residence;

(2) Each state agency which the reporting law-enforcement agency considers to be potentially involved, and each private agency known to the law-enforcement agency which has, as a part of its functions, the searching for or location of missing persons;

(3) Each state agency to which the nearest relative to the missing person, or the complaint if no relative is located, requests that the report be sent; provided, however, that the forwarding of any report under this section shall be at the discretion of the law-enforcement agency;

(4) Each law-enforcement agency which requests a copy of the missing person report.

65 Del. Laws, c. 48, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 327, § 2.;

(a) If a report of a missing person involves an unemancipated minor, the law-enforcement agency shall immediately transmit all proper information for inclusion into the National Crime Information Center (N.C.I.C.) computer.

(b) If a report of a missing person involves an unemancipated minor, the law-enforcement agency shall not prevent an immediate active investigation on the basis of any agency rule which specifies an automatic time limitation for a missing person investigation.

65 Del. Laws, c. 48, § 2.;

Each law-enforcement agency shall be provided with dental authorization forms, promulgated by the Attorney General, which when signed by a parent or guardian of a minor shall permit release of dental records to law-enforcement authorities. Where the missing person complaint indicates that the missing person is under 18 years of age, a properly executed dental authorization shall be taken to the family dentist and any other dentist who has records which would assist in identification of the missing person. Such dental identification shall be disseminated to the Medical Examiner and all other appropriate state agencies.

65 Del. Laws, c. 48, § 2.;

It shall be the duty of every law-enforcement agency to:

(1) Acquire, collect, classify and preserve any information which would assist in the identification of any deceased individual who has not been identified after the discovery of such deceased individual;

(2) Acquire, collect, classify and preserve immediately any information which would assist in the location of any missing person, including any minor, and provide confirmation as to any entry to the parent, legal guardian or next of kin of such person; and the agency shall acquire, collect, classify and preserve such information as it deems necessary from each such parent, guardian or next of kin; and

(3) Exchange such records and information as are provided for in this section with other law-enforcement agencies of this State, of any other state, or of the United States. With respect to missing minors, such information shall be transmitted immediately to other law-enforcement agencies.

65 Del. Laws, c. 48, § 2.;

The Medical Examiner shall promptly furnish the Department of Safety and Homeland Security with copies of the fingerprints of each unidentified deceased person. The copies of such fingerprints shall be on standardized cards, and shall be accompanied by descriptions and other identifying data, including any available information concerning the date and place of death. In any instance where it is not physically possible to furnish prints of all 10 fingers, the prints or partial prints of any fingers, together with identifying data, shall be forwarded by the Medical Examiner to the Department.

65 Del. Laws, c. 48, § 2; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, § 138.;