Adult disappearance.

An adult can go off without letting anyone know or sever links with his family (unlike children who are subject to parental authority). Given an individual’s right of freedom, no one can oblige them to get back in contact with their family.

If a person goes off voluntarily and there is nothing suspicious about their disappearance, you need to undertake a “recherche dans l’intérêt des familles” (RIF) [search on behalf of the family]. This procedure can take several months.

The Recherche dans l'intérêt des familles (RIF) procedure

  1. Go to the Préfecture, but the RIF can also be registered at Police stations or Gendarmeries.
  2. Provide an official document proving the link between the requester and the missing person.
  3. Once found, the adult is informed that his family is looking for him but his contact details can only be passed on with his permission.
  4. If he refuses, the person who initiated the RIF is informed that the adult has been located but does not wish to get back in contact.

In parallel with the official procedure, continue with your own research. For example check at the town hall to see if he appears in a civil register (eg marriage).

 If, despite the initial voluntary nature of the departure, the disappearance appears worrying to you,

you can write to the local Procureur de la République du tribunal de grande instance [Public prosecutor at the equivalent of the county court]. The letter (sent signed-for and registered) is to convince the Prosecutor to launch a worrying disappearance enquiry. The resources given to this will be greater than a normal search on behalf of the family.