Experts; Time's the essence in missing persons searches

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A criminal justice professor said Thursday when people are reported missing, police need to start searching for them immediately.

"It's not a tough call," said Dr. Jacqueline Fish of Charleston Southern University. "If we're not all in this together, then how many people could go missing that no one would ever report."

The families of 22 year old June Guerry and 18 year old Dana Woods reported them missing on Monday.

At the time, Berkeley County sheriff's deputies said there was no evidence of foul play.

On Tuesday, Woods' body was found next to her burned car in Cordesville.

Investigators then launched a search for Guerry Her body was found Wednesday.

Charleston Police did not search right away for Kate Waring after her parents reported the 28 year old woman missing in June, 2009.

Private investigators were led to her body by one of Waring's two killers.

Private eye Howie Comen said the decision to search comes down to the circumstances of the case.

"Is it unusual for that person not to come home at a particular time and then they have to move on it. But again, police departments don't unless they have some evidence," Comen said.

Comen said some police departments are strapped for cash and can't search at the drop of a hat.

"It's a question of where you're gonna spend your manpower or womanpower," he said.

Dr. Fish said that's no excuse.

"In today's world, police officers, the technology's out there, you can spread the word, you can put the BOLO out there, be on the lookout. You can go ahead and do that and it's not costing you anything, and you may save someone's life."

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