Raleigh Co. Sheriff talks through process of missing person reports

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – With the recent missing person cases going on in Raleigh County, we wanted to sit down with Raleigh County Sheriff Scott Van Meter to talk about the process when someone files a missing person report.

When someone reports that someone they know is missing, first comes the report. This is when a law enforcement will sit down with the friend of loved one and get all the details.

“And we enter them into NCIC, which is a National Crime Information Center and like in some cases, like Mary Haley’scase, we enter her vehicle as a missing vehicle and basically if police run into her or any individual at different places or different states or find her vehicle then they run the tag or run the date of birth and it comes back that she’s missing out of Raleigh County and they’ll contact us,” Sheriff Van Meter said.

Once they are in the database, it’s about getting the word and that’s where we come in, and hopefully the Sheriff’s Department will begin to get tips from the public.

“A lot of times you don’t have any tips, but in certain cases like the Mary Haley, we’re getting a lot of tips and we’re getting into every one of them and it takes time, it takes manpower and the guys do a good job and we work with other agencies to try to look into those to see if there’s any validity to the tips,” he said.

And Sheriff Van Meter says it’s always a collaborative effort.

“We may have someone who is last seen here in Raleigh County. They file a missing person report but they may actually be from Virginia. They were just up here and they were last seen here, and they haven’t been heard from by their family in a few days, so we take it because they were last seen here, but we’ll work with the authorities in Virginia or any state or any authorities in West Virginia just to find a person safe and get them home,” he said.

If you have any tips regarding any missing person case, you are encourage to call local authorities or 911.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com