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The first 48 hours after a child goes missing are important in terms of discovering and returning the child back home, but they can also be the most difficult and hectic. Use this checklist to assist you do everything you can in the first 48 hours to enhance your chances of retrieving your child; but, if your child has been missing for longer than 48 hours, you should still try to address these issues as soon as possible. All of the action steps outlined here are discussed in further depth later in the Guide to help you understand what you should be doing and why. Limit access to your home until police enforcement arrives and collects any evidence that may exist. Nothing should be touched or removed from your child’s room or your home. Clothing, linens, personal stuff, laptops, and even trash may contain clues to your child’s whereabouts. The first chapter’s checklist includes specific instructions for safeguarding your child’s room and preserving evidence. Request the name and phone number of the law enforcement investigator assigned to your case, and keep it in a safe and accessible location.

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