MPD: Missing Persons Cases Taken Seriously

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(Memphis)  Karen Thomas, a missing mother of two, hasn’t been seen since she told her husband she was going out for a bit a week ago. 

Her car was found a few days later in a store parking lot, but she wasn't in it. 

Her family rushed to a bridge over the Loosahatchie River Thursday afternoon, after hearing a body had been found.

They didn't get any answers and left frustrated just like other family members looking for someone they've lost. 

People go missing in Memphis often and many times family members have reached out to News Channel 3 frustrated.

Many of them believe Memphis Police just doesn't do enough to bring their loved ones home, but police say they take a missing person as serious as any other crime.

“We investigate missing people the same way we do any crime,” said Sgt. Karen Rudolph, a Memphis Police spokesperson. “We're doing interviews making calls, we're making scenes. We are following up with it.”

Thomas' family tells us they don't believe police are doing enough to bring her home.

Rudolph couldn’t talk about Thomas’s case because it’s ongoing but did say this misconception is common in missing person cases.

“We understand that family members are going to be upset because they want a conclusion and in this case, they're a missing person and they have no idea where that person is,” she said.

If someone disappears, investigators can look to see if a person is using their cell phone or credit cards. In some cases, Rudolph claims people don't want to be found.

However, if police believe someone is in danger, they will issue a City Watch, like they did when Thomas' car was found abandoned Monday in the Garden Ridge parking lot.

Rudolph says in any missing person case they work hard to track the person down and that means sometimes withholding information from those who seek it most, “There are sometimes that we can't reveal some information because of the integrity of the investigation,” she said.

“We don't want to compromise anything. So, it's our job to let the family know we are following up, to make contact, but they won't get every single piece of an ongoing investigation.”

Sergeant Rudolph says there is another misconception she wants to clear up, that you have to wait 24-hours to file a missing persons report. She says if you suspect a loved one is missing, you can report it to police immediately.