Endangered Missing Person Advisory

Silver Search Program


What is Silver Search?

Silver Search is a partnership between several different agencies and organization to bring awareness, education, and resources to help return a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia home safely when they get lost. Silver Search focuses on providing proactive training, and reactive technology to quickly and efficiently locate someone that has Alzheimer’s or dementia that goes missing. Silver Search became effective on January 1st, 2016.

Is the Endangered Missing Person Advisory the same as Silver Search?

The Endangered Missing Person Advisory is the warning system that is utilized when anyone with an endangerment goes missing. An example of an endangerment is anyone that exhibits signs or Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Someone does not have to be formally diagnosed to qualify.

Silver Search is the method of providing training, support, and technology regarding people with Alzheimer’s and dementia that go missing to law enforcement, first responders, public guardians, and the public.  Part of the Silver Search program is law enforcements utilization of the Endangered Missing Person Advisory.

What do the Endangered Missing Person Advisory Highway signs mean?

The highway signs notify the public that there is a missing endangered person and possibly a cognitively impaired driver, and they give identifying information about the car they are driving, including the make, model, color and tag number.

How can I help when I see one of the Endangered Missing Person Advisory highway signs?

Be aware of the cars around you, and look for the car described on the highway sign.

What should I do if I see the car described on the highway sign?

Call 911 to notify law enforcement of the location of the car.

How many Endangered Missing Person Advisories have there been?

  • 2017 - 26 advisories
  • 2018 - 34 advisories
  • 2019 - 74 advisories
  • 2020 - 125 advisories
  • 2021 - 132 advisories

I have a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. How do I register him for Silver Search?

There is no registration for Silver Search. The program is available to help everyone with Alzheimer’s disease or related cognitive impairment who goes missing.

Who qualifies for Endangered Missing Person Advisory?

Endangered Missing Person Advisory Criteria:

  • The person is missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances
  • The person is believed to be in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, environment, weather conditions, or in the company of a potentially dangerous person or some other factor that may expose the person to possible harm or injury.
  • Public information is available that could assist in the safe recovery of the person
  • The circumstances to not fit the criteria of an AMBER Alert

What should I do if a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is driving and doesn’t return home when expected?

Call 911 immediately and tell law enforcement that the person has Alzheimer’s disease and is missing. Be prepared to give them a complete description of the car and the license tag number.

How does a the Endangered Missing Person Advisory go into effect?

If you have a loved one missing, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. Only a law enforcement agency may request an Endangered Missing Person Advisory. Law enforcement will investigate by asking questions of the person reporting the missing person. The law enforcement officer must conclude that the missing person is endangered, they are driving a car, or the disappearance poses a credible threat to the person’s welfare and safety. The officer must determine whether an advisory through multiple broadcasts would help in returning the missing person. The officer will write a report and notify the Illinois State Police if they determine a multi county advisory will assist in the case. The Illinois State Police will then broadcast the alert to its broadcast partners for distribution.

How long do the highway signs stay active for an Endangered Missing Person Advisory?

Signs are active for 72 hours unless the missing person is rescued before that time, or law enforcement requests the message remain.

How does an Endangered Missing Person Advisory get cancelled?

If the missing person returns home, it is very important for their caregiver to notify their local law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agency then notifies the Illinois State Police to cancel the Endangered Missing Person Advisory.

Has the Endangered Missing Person Advisory helped to rescue anyone?

The thousands of tips and information law enforcement has received over the years has most definitely helped in returning our most vulnerable missing person home safely.

What agency is responsible for the Endangered Missing Person Advisory?

The Endangered Missing Person Advisory is issued as the result of cooperation among the reporting local law enforcement agency, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Illinois Lottery.

I have a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. Where can we get help?

The Alzheimer’s Association had highly trained and knowledgeable Helpline staff who provide reliable information and support to all those who need assistance. With translation services available in over 200 languages, the 24/7 Helpline is offered wherever and whenever help is needed. Call toll-free anytime day or night at 1.800.272.3900 or go to www.alz.org for more information.

What is considered a long term missing person?

Any missing person case that has been active for more than 6 months is considered a long term missing person case.