Every once in a while we get unusual searches that turn out to be easy and fun. Then there are times when these unusual people searches become a long drawn-out process. Recently, we had a request from one of our ads on craigslist that led them to our website forms on PeopleSearchLive. The client was requesting us to find old friends from his past:
“Dear Live pi I would like to search for three old friends that have lost contact many years ago. They should in late 50s, early 60s. Between 1980s and 1985s they live in [city, state]. I have their pictures when they are younger. I would like to know whether they are still alive and whether they have social media accounts. If they are still alive, I would like to get in touch with them. No need criminal record etc. I just want to get in touch with them. I can give you more information and their pictures when they are younger. If you are able to do this job? Can you do this service? If so how long will it take? And how much will it cost? Thank you”
Live PI Helped Find Old Friends of 35 Years Ago
We often get clients that ask us to find old friends. Usually, they are able to provide a full name and some sort of additional information. It can be such as date of birth or approximate age, last known address(es) and family members. The best is a Social Security Number, which makes your private investigator search a whole lot easier. But then there are cases when the client provides a Live PI very little information. Like in this case, only names, age ranges, and a picture of one subject from 35 years ago. Yet the client expected a successful people search result to find old friends in a matter of hours.
Well, the above case turned out to be one of the memorable ones. The client was patient during the investigation, as well as assisted their Live PI to find the old friends. It took over two months to locate and partially reunite the three lost friends of more than 35 years ago.
The Search Process
The client who hired a Live PI to conduct a people searches to find old friends nowadays lives halfway across the world in Asia. However, they used to live in the United States 35 years ago. They now wanted to look up their long-time old friends but didn’t have much to work with, such as dates of birth or last known addresses.
Out of the three long-lost friends, the Live PI determined that two of them were deceased. The two deceased subjects both had names that were unusual. Out of the two deceased friends, the search initially showed that only one of them was deceased and the other one would still be alive. The second deceased subject was showing a current updated address, which led the investigator to believe she was still alive. Later on, the Live PI was able to confirm this friend deceased, as well. He did it by locating and contacting their family via social media. The family members confirmed that the friend had passed away quite recently.
The last subject was finally found after using a method private investigators have been using way before there was an Internet.
The Snail Mail Method to Find Old Friends
Sometimes it takes old-fashioned methods to find old friends. The Live PI was able to locate the last old friend using the United States Postal Service better known as the USPS. The last subject, unlike the previous two, had a very common name in the state in question. This made the investigation very difficult with hundreds of people with the same name to locate.
There was no last known address, no middle name, no date of birth, and no relatives’ names. All there was, was a photo of 35 years in the past, approximate age, and a state where the subject last resided. After comprehensive investigations and nothing coming back, the private investigator elected to do a mass mailing. He sent a letter to all probable subjects in their early sixties in that particular state, which came up to 14 different persons.
The Live PI identified 14 different subjects with the same name and mailed each one of them a letter telling of how an old friend had hired PeopleSearchLive to locate them. It took about eight days for Snail Mail to solve the case. One of the 14 possibilities contacted the Live PI and was extremely happy to make contact with his old lost friend of 35 years past.
What also made this case unique was that the client wanted to know the causes of the deaths for his two old friends, which lead to the Live PI having to request their death certificates. There are no databases that have everyone’s death certificate nationally. You have to mail out a request to the county where the deceased had passed away in order to get the certificate. This can take weeks depending on the county government offices. As I mentioned, some of these searches can go on for a couple of months due to having to resort to mailing out letters to probable subjects and government agencies.
As for the one friend that the Live PI found still living, he was the most difficult one to find and learn about his status. His name was quite common in that particular state. When you read the clients request above you can see that the client only had an approximate age of all the subjects. The client provided the photo of 35 years ago on this third subject. Note: FYI, there is no current reliable database other than the Feds that can locate a person via their photo.
These type of cases remind us how important each and every people search request we get here at PeopleSearchLive can be. How we can bring a conclusion to some relationships but also joy when clients find old friends. Or, bring success by finding the deadbeat that ran off with your money. Working with your Live PI (a human) can be much more gratifying experience than trying to do a people search on your own. You’ll get the feeling of success when you have a persistent advocate working on your behalf. Many of our clients know that just doing an online people search online normally leads to disappointment.