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How to Find a Lost Friend

You vowed to be best friends forever, but it isn’t uncommon to lose touch with your childhood friends over the years. It's never too late to re-establish contact with an old friend.


  • Step 1: Do a general search Enter your friend’s first, middle, and last name in quotation marks to initiate a specific search in Google or Yahoo. Don’t forget to ask your family and friends if they have any current information before you begin your search.
  • Step 2: Scour online public record databases Scour online public record databases to gather more information about your friend. Search property records, birth and death records, census data, marriage certificates, and military records, among countless other databases.
  • Step 3: Explore social-networking sites Search social networking sites such as Facebook, My Space, and LinkedIn to discover your friend’s whereabouts. But be aware of privacy settings that may limit the available information.
  • Step 4: Search school alumni sites Comb through the online directory or message board of your friend’s alumni association. Many such sites will require you to be an alumnus and to join the alumni association before access is made available.
  • Step 5: Use people locater services Pay a fee to use a people search service. Many online detective services allow you to leave messages for loved ones and search the replies.
  • TIP: Consider hiring a private investigator.
  • Step 6: Search the omitted stuff Search through the omitted, deep web information via a pay service -- these companies sift through public records and store profiles. Use any acquired clues to further refine your search.
  • FACT: Sherlock Holmes, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, smoked a pipe, played the violin, and used cocaine.

You Will Need

  • Internet access
  • Basic information about your friend
  • Persistence

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