Private investigators are often hired to solve cases. Private investigators can help you find missing people, uncover fraud and embezzlement, find lost items, and more. Here's how private investigators solve cases:
- They investigate people, places, and things
Private investigators investigate people and organizations. They interview witnesses and suspects as well as review records and financial statements. When they suspect wrongdoing, they may conduct private investigator surveillance or stake out locations to gather evidence. They also use physical evidence like fingerprints or DNA samples to solve crimes.
- They use surveillance equipment
Private investigators often use video cameras, binoculars, and other devices to monitor their targets' activities. They might even install hidden cameras or microphones in a location to gather evidence without attracting attention from their targets.
- They examine forensics evidence
Private investigators examine crime scenes with the same tools used by law enforcement agencies. They also collect fingerprints at scenes using special powders that cling to ridges on fingers but won't leave residue if touched by non-suspects during an investigation (see How Fingerprints Work for details). In addition, some private detectives may have access to DNA testing equipment that can identify criminals by analyzing genetic material found at crime scenes (see How DNA Testing Works).
- They research people using public records
A good private investigator will always look into the background of any person being investigated for criminal activity by checking public records such as court documents related to criminal proceedings, arrest records for felonies or misdemeanors, marriage licenses if someone has been married multiple times, divorce decrees if there are any divorces on record from previous marriages that occurred in other states where the couple relocated after those divorces took place so that they can locate them based on their current address at the time of the investigation.
- They can search databases for information about individuals or companies
Some private investigators specialize in cybercrime investigation — they use computer forensics software to look for traces of hacking or other computer crimes on computers or networks.
Whether you're investigating your cheating husband, your drunk-driving teen, or you're looking into someone's adoption records, a private investigator can help you find the answers that you need to move forward with your life.