• Tom Sussi

Failing to vet your clients could result in bad consequences

Updated: May 8, 2020

It's not an everyday occurrence, but from time to time, people want to hire me to locate someone.

My first question, with all missing persons cases, is why? Followed by, what's your relationship to that person?

Because sometimes, you see, there's a good reason why an individual is off the grid. The point of the story I am about to tell you.

It started with a short, almost unintelligible message from a guy, left on my cellphone. Something to the effect of finding a woman, a friend, to make sure she is okay. He added she might be in a abused women's shelter somewhere in Columbus.

Abused women's shelter! A bell sounded off in my head and now I had a few questions of my own.

The man didn't leave his name, but I had his cellphone number, so I ran it through one of my data banks that only licensed and insured private investigators, like myself, have access to.

It provided with me a name and address.

Next, I logged into the Franklin County Clerk of Courts web site, and noticed a person with the same name and address was arrested in January and charged with a battery of crimes including - domestic violence. Follow me?

I then researched the case and came up with the victim's name. Could it be the same woman the guy who contacted me wanted to find?

Immediately, I texted the man and asked for the name and birth date of the woman he wanted me to locate. Turned out, it's the same person!

My next telephone call was to the arresting police agency.

Before I take on any case, I always vet a prospective client. No exceptions.

Can you imagine if I accepted this guy's story at face value and located the woman for him? It could have been disastrous, perhaps even cost that woman her life.


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