Case Study | International Abduction | Germany/United States
Lauth investigators have invoked these protections under the Hague Convention several times in international abduction cases, and are well-versed in how its mandates protect children globally.
In a case of parental abduction, a mother and father were living in Germany. One afternoon, the mother went to pick up her children from school, only to realize their father had already picked the children up and had disappeared. She was deeply concerned the father had kidnapped her daughter and son and had taken them to the United States.
The mother immediately filed all the necessary reports with German authorities and contacted the FBI to alert them that her husband could possibly flee to the United States with her children.
With federal and international agencies working on her case, she had every confidence her children would soon be located and returned safely to her. However, after weeks of hearing no progress on the case, she turned to missing person expert, Thomas Lauth. Using proven methodology and verified databases, Lauth was able to build a background on the father that generated a few qualified leads. After pursuing these leads and additional fact-finding, Lauth successfully tracked the children to Charlotte, North Carolina. Once the children had been located, Lauth worked in tandem with federal authorities to invoke the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
The children were recovered and held in a neutral environment while court proceedings determined the circumstances and outcome of the case. The father claimed that the children had been exposed to discrimination in Germany, but the children were ultimately returned to their mother.
Sex traffickers who target young women are usually very adept at keeping them in their circle, and sometimes the lengths traffickers will go to is frightening.
Lauth missing person investigators were contacted by a family whose 15 year-old daughter, Kadijah, was missing. They contacted law enforcement and filed a missing person report, but also had the foresight to seek the expertise of the nation’s foremost expert in missing children and adults.
The intake call and additional interviews with the family generated a credible lead that pointed to Atlanta and the home of a known sex trafficker.
Lauth utilized verified databases to locate the trafficker’s criminal record and his address history to identify possible locations to take Kadijah. Lauth identified a former residence of the trafficker and was able to see the inside of the home before it was sold. Not long after that, Lauth got a lead that the trafficker and Kadijah were headed to Chicago, one of the largest hubs for sex trafficking in the United States. Despite a direct threat from the trafficker, Lauth doggedly pursued the lead to Chicago. Lauth applied proven methodology in Chicago in an attempt to locate Kadijah, but the corner she allegedly frequented turned up no additional leads. After returning from Chicago, Lauth got a tip from one of the human sources identified in the case who said that Kadijah was in the hospital, following an attack from the trafficker that involved running her over and resulted in a broken clavicle.
After recovering from her injuries, Kadijah was returned to her mother, and received counseling to cope with the aftermath.
Sometimes law enforcement can have difficulty following a runaway’s trail. That’s where missing person investigators come in.
Lauth missing person investigators were contacted by a mother, the Client, whose daughter, the Subject, had a documented history of running away from home—always returning after a few days. However, the last time the 17-year-old had vanished, she did not reappear as expected. That’s’ when the Client reached out to Lauth Investigations.
It was important for Lauth’s missing person investigators to build a profile of the Client’s daughter. Identifying patterns in her behavior would become crucial to locating her.
After getting a list of her friends, hobbies, and frequented hang-out spots from the Client, Lauth missing person investigators set out to canvass the neighborhood and identify human witnesses. After speaking with a few neighbors, Lauth investigators learned the Subject was known to socialize with local drug dealers and was a close friend of a mid-level dealer’s girlfriend. After speaking with the friend and her neighbors, it became clear that the Subject was in a house that was known as a hub for gang activity. Lauth missing person investigators did surveillance on the house and obtained photographs of the teen going in and out of the house. Once the girl had been found, Lauth investigators contacted the police to alert them of the discovery. Lauth investigators showed the teen’s picture to law enforcement and assisted in the recovery by guarding the back door of the home so the teen could not escape.
The teen was successfully recovered and returned to her mother by law enforcement. Lauth Investigations conducted a follow-up call a few weeks later to check on the family, who reported that things had much improved since their daughter had returned home.
Missing person investigators are able to bring closure to families in crisis, like in the case of a missing sister and nephew.
Lauth investigators were contacted by a long-suffering brother the Client, who had been searching for his sister and his nephew, the Subjects, for two years. The Subjects had been living in a home with the sisters abusive second husband for about three years when they both went missing. The Client had been working with state and local law enforcement to find his sister and her child, but because there was no evidence of foul play, and the husband had an alibi for the time they went missing, there had been very few leads in the case, and with no evidence of violence, the case had fallen down the list of the priorities for law enforcement. That’s when the brother contacted Lauth Investigations International.
Lauth’s missing person investigators sat down with the client to build a background profile on the mother and son and identify the human sources in their lives who might be able to provide further context.
Among many, the lingering questions for the family, one of the most pressing was whether the Client’s sister and her child went missing of their own accord, or if they had met a violent end. After identifying a close family friend who was close with the sister in the weeks before her disappearance, Lauth missing person investigators discovered that the sister had been formulating a plan to leave for some time, planning an exit strategy, and finding resources to deal with the fallout. After developing a rapport with the witness, Lauth missing person investigators eventually concluded that the Subjects had fled their residence in the middle of the night while the allegedly abusive husband was working an overnight shift.
With the testimony from the witness, Lauth missing person investigators were able to track the Subjects to a neighboring state. The Subject was living under a different name for the protection of herself and her minor son. Lauth investigators were able to facilitate communication between the Subject and her brother, finally bringing a grieving family some closure.
Case Study | Missing Person | Missing & Mentally Ill
When your missing loved one is mentally ill, it presents a series of challenges for law enforcement and missing person investigators alike.
Lauth missing person investigators were contacted by parents whose minor child had recently gone missing. He had departed their family home to report for his shift at a local retail store. After receiving calls from the store inquiring as to his whereabouts, the parents realized that he never made it to work, and reached out to Lauth for solutions.
Lauth missing person investigators traveled to the state where the 18-year-old went missing and sat down with the Clients and began building a background profile on their son.
After completing the background profile, Lauth investigators proceeded to canvass the neighborhood where the young man went missing, identifying the human sources in the case who could provide crucial context for the weeks leading up to his disappearance. Lauth reached out to law enforcement and missing person non-profit organizations to collaborate on developing the best strategy for location.
After a day of investigation, Lauth missing person investigators determined the Subject had been coerced into leaving home, and was being forced into sex-slavery by a person he had met on the internet. Lauth developed a rapport with the Subject and convinced him to return home with the investigator