Missing Persons in the National Parks

Find out more information about missing persons in National Park Service areas, or learn how to report a missing person.

If you need to report an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Is someone lost or missing in a National Park Service area?

The Search and Rescue emblem of the National Park Service. NPS image.
The Search and Rescue emblem of the National Park Service.

NPS image.

The National Park Service (NPS) is dedicated to protecting the health, safety, and wellness of our visitors and employees. NPS responders play a leading role in locating people who may have become lost or gone missing within the National Park System, and often aid other local, state, and federal agencies outside of our boundaries.

Someone may go missing for many reasons - they could become lost or disoriented, suffer an accident, or be delayed by weather or other inclement conditions. In some cases their disappearance is voluntary or the result of a crime. A missing child may involve additional, complex considerations.

No matter the cause, our responders, officers, and special agents are the subject-matter experts for inland search-and-rescue (SAR) operations and missing person investigations, from urban parks to wilderness areas of the National Park System.

For news or information about a missing person in an NPS site, see our News page (you may filter by keyword "missing" or by the park site). You may also contact a park or site directly - use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of each site's page.

To report a missing person in an NPS site:

Cold Cases

Cold cases are crimes or incidents - including missing persons - that have yet to be solved and have no active leads. New information could come from new witness testimony, new or retained physical evidence, activities of a suspect, or other sources. 

Please scroll through this roster of cold cases being investigated by Special Agents of the NPS Investigative Services Branch. If you have information that could help solve a case, please contact us. You don't have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know. 

If you're looking for information about a missing person not listed, please see the NPS News page. You may filter news releases by using the keyword "missing" and/or by location. You may also contact a park or site directly - use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of each National Park Service site's official page.

NPS search-and-rescue (SAR) responders in the field.
The NPS is dedicated to protecting the health, safety, and wellness of our visitors and employees. Our search-and-rescue (SAR) responders, officers, and special agents are the subject-matter experts for inland SAR and missing person investigations, from urban parks to wilderness areas of the NPS.

NPS photos of search-and-rescue (SAR) responders.

Report suspicious or criminal activity in any NPS site

A Special Agent listens to a caller on a mobile phone.
If you see something suspicious in a National Park Service area, stay safe and tell us about it! You don't have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know.

NPS image.

If you see something suspicious in any National Park Service area, stay safe and tell us about it. Ask any uniformed NPS employee for help in reporting suspicious/criminal activity, or contact the NPS Investigative Services Branch any time. We understand that it may take time to reach park personnel and/or areas with cell or internet service.

You don't have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know:

Remember - if you need to report an emergency, dial 9-1-1

Additional resources

Last updated: September 18, 2017