NCMEC is not an investigative agency, but we do provide a range of resources and services to help law enforcement bring home missing children and combat child sexual exploitation.
The Case Analysis Unit at NCMEC is responsible for providing direct analytical support to law enforcement for missing and unidentified deceased child cases including:
- Developing intelligence information using donated public records databases, the National Crime Information Center, Nlets and the internet.
- Searching databases of attempted abductions and sex offenders within the region of critical missing child cases.
- Searching the NCMEC and NCIC databases for possible matches to an unidentified child.
- Assisting in cold case reviews, possibly by locating family members for DNA submission.
- Providing large-scale aerial and topographic maps for grid searching purposes in critical missing child cases.
- Reviewing leads through NCMEC's Call Center to provide additional value and associate unrelated leads to a NCMEC case.
The Child Victim Identification Program (CVIP) tracks previously identified child victims who appear in child sexual abuse images submitted to the CyberTipline. CVIP serves a clearinghouse role by analyzing statistical information concerning the dynamics of child pornography victimization and provide that research, analysis and data to key stakeholders, including Congress, courts, victims’ attorneys, prosecutors, and the internet industry.
NCMEC offers forensic services to help law enforcement and families find long term-missing children, provide resources to assist with child abduction homicides, and identify unknown deceased children. The Forensic Services Unit calls upon subject matter experts from various disciplines to help develop comprehensive investigative strategies, including the latest technologies, to ensure that all possible avenues have been considered.
Forensic services NCMEC can offer include:
- Biometrics: NCMEC can facilitate the collection of biometric data (DNA, dentals, fingerprints) on missing and unidentified children and assist authorities getting that information entered into NCIC and NamUs.
- Advanced Forensics: NCMEC can facilitate advanced forensic testing on cases of missing and unidentified children through our partnered forensic labs that specialize in DNA case work, pollen analysis, chemical isotope analysis and fingerprint testing.
- Forensic Imaging: NCMEC’s Forensic Artists can provide age progressions on missing child cases and facial reconstructions on unidentified deceased children in hopes someone will recognize them.
The Sex Offender Tracking Team (SOTT) provides technical assistance in locating noncompliant sex offenders. SOTT analysts provide many types of assistance, including:
- Conduct searches for noncompliant sex offenders through public record databases, online open-source sites, and other systems.
- Provide comprehensive analytical reports to assist law enforcement efforts to locate noncompliant sex offenders.
- Produce timelines of offenders’ histories including places of residence, employment and travel.
- Examine data regarding attempted abductions, online child sexual exploitation, and child abductions for potential links with noncompliant sex offenders.
Team Adam provides rapid, onsite assistance to law enforcement agencies and families in serious cases of missing children. Additionally, they can provide on-the-ground technical assistance and connect law enforcement to a national network of resources. Learn more
Project ALERT works closely with the Forensic Services Unit to provide on-site support to law enforcement agencies with long term missing child cases. They assist law enforcement with case review, comprehensive analysis, search and rescue, biometrics collection and integration of all other available NCMEC resources to help find the missing child.
We work with traditional media outlets and social media platforms to target specific geographic areas to help raise public awareness and find missing children. We assist law enforcement and families with media strategies and highlight anniversaries of long-term missing children.