What is Skip Tracing?

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What is Skip Tracing?

Skip Tracing. Have you ever heard someone use this term, but you weren’t really sure what it meant? Today the term is used fairly broadly, so let’s see if I can help clarify it for you.

Skip tracing refers to the act of finding a missing person. Initially, the term was used to refer to a person who was out of jail on bail or bond and then “skipped” town. The bail bondsman would then hire someone to track or “trace” the person and bring them back to jail, hence the term “skip tracer.” Today, however, I routinely see this word used, both in my industry and by the public at large, to refer to all different types of situations where someone is missing. If you attend a PI conference (yes, we really do have those) you will hear people talk about “skips” all week long.

For us here at Owens Investigations, there is a difference between looking for a missing person and skip tracing. We more narrowly define skip tracing as someone who needs to be found because they are avoiding some type of obligation. While we don’t typically hunt fugitives who have disappeared before trial (we are not bounty hunters), there are people who leave town or attempt to disappear because they have some type of financial obligation. They may owe the landlord several months rent and move in the middle of the night. They may be a non-custodial parent who hasn’t paid child support. Or they might owe a large debt to someone, or have left a business partner holding the bag on a large financial expenditure. “Skips” disappear because there is a financial motivation for them to do so, and the people who want to find them have a financial motivation to track them down.

This is work we like to do. Someone has been cheated out of money, or they have not been paid what they are owed. Is it easy? Usually not, because these people are trying to hide. They are motivated to hide. However, most people cannot live totally “off the grid” and over time they will start to make a mark in their new location. Sometimes it can take months for them to surface, but if you have patience (and we do!) we can usually track them down. Many people have family or friend connections that they do not want to sever permanently. Again, with some time and patience, the trail will heat up again.

So if there is someone who has “skipped” out on you and you need for them to be tracked down, we are ready to do the skip tracing for you. Contact Owens Investigations today and let us start working to find them.

Keith Owens is the owner and founder of Owens Investigations.

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Missing Persons
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