Missing Student Policy

Emory University’s Missing Student Policy, Policy 8.13, establishes procedures for the University’s response to a report of any missing student as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008. The Missing Student Policy is available for review at http://policies.emory.edu/8.13.

Missing graphic


The HEOA of 2008 requires institutions of higher education to establish:

  • A missing student notification policy for students who reside in on-campus housing
  • A process for students to register a confidential contact for use under this policy
  • Procedures to implement this policy for students who reside in on-campus housing

Emory’s missing student notification process applies to all Emory students reported to be missing or absent from the University for a period of 24 hours without any known reason or when the absence may be contrary to usual patterns of behavior. A student will be considered missing immediately, if the student’s absence has occurred under circumstances that are suspicious or cause concerns for the student’s safety. Such circumstances include but are not limited to reports or suspicions of foul play, suicidal thoughts, drug use, any life-threatening situation, or where a student may be known to be with individual(s) who may endanger the welfare of the student.


Procedures for Designation of Missing Persons Contact Information

Each student is given the opportunity during each semester registration process to designate one or more individuals to be contacted in the event the student is determined missing. This designation is distinct from the identification of a general emergency contact, but students may identify the same person for both purposes. Students’ missing persons contact information will be kept confidential and accessible only to authorized campus officials, and it will not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation.

Process Overview:

If any member of the University community has reason to believe that a student may be missing, that individual should immediately notify the Emory Police Department at 404-727-6111.

A campus officer is available to respond to a call 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

If the student in question resides off-campus or resides on-campus but is reported missing from an off- campus location, the Emory Police Department will assist the reporting party in notifying the appropriate law enforcement agency with jurisdiction at the off-campus residence or last known location.

Official Notification Procedures for Missing Persons

  1. Any member of the university community who has information that a student may be a missing person must notify the Emory Police Department as soon as possible by calling 404-727-6111.
  2. If the initial report that a student is missing is made to a department other than the Emory Police Department, the staff member or faculty receiving the report must contact the Emory Police Department immediately and contact information for the original reporting party should be shared with the Emory Police
  3. The Emory Police Department, Campus Life, and other appropriate university staff members will attempt to locate the
  4. The Emory Police Department shall act as the primary investigating agency in a missing person case only when it has been determined that the missing person was last seen in EPD’s jurisdiction. If the student resides off-campus or was reported missing from an off-campus location, the University will report the incident to and cooperate with the appropriate local law enforcement agency in its effort to locate the student.
  5. If the student is not located within 24 hours of the report or it is apparent immediately that the student is a missing person (e.g., witnessed abduction), the Emory Police Department shall notify the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction in the area that the student is missing (unless it was the local law enforcement that determined the student to be missing). The notification will be made within 24 hours of the student being determined
  6. When a student is determined to be a missing person, the SVP and Dean for Campus Life or designee will notify the student’s designated contact person(s) that the student has been determined If the student is under the age of 18 and not an emancipated minor, a custodial parent or guardian will be contacted in addition to the designated missing persons contact(s) if they are not the same person(s). The required notifications will be made within 24 hours of the student being determined missing.

*Successful contact is contingent upon the correct contact information being made available by the student.

  1. The Emory Police Department will notify Senior University Administration when a student is determined to be a missing person.

Campus Communications About Missing Students

In all cases of a missing student, where the student is declared missing by the Emory Police Department or by the appropriate local law enforcement agency after an initial investigation, the Emory University Office of Media Relations will provide information to the media that is designed to obtain public assistance in the search for any missing student. Any media requests to the university will be directed to the Office of Media Relations. Prior to providing the Emory University community with any information about a missing student, the Office of Media Relations shall consult with the Emory Police Department and with local law enforcement authorities to ensure that communications do not hinder the investigation.