Columbia police to investigate failure to file missing persons report
COLUMBIA — The Columbia Police Department said Friday it will investigate if department policy was followed after a missing person's remains were found last month.
Officers received a report of a missing person, Glen O'Neal, July 3, according to a news release. He had last been seen June 30. The responding officer issued a "be on the lookout," or BOLO, which is a message in the law enforcement records system that can be accessed by other officers. However, there was no missing person report submitted.
Two hikers near I-70 Drive SW and Silvey Street found human remains July 25. Officers confirmed the remains belonged to O'Neal the next day.
The department began an internal investigation July 26 regarding policy 332, which requires a missing person report to be submitted for any person missing for more than 24 hours. Internal Affairs will investigate if the policy was followed.
"Our commitment to be transparent, look for ways to improve our response to missing persons and keep our community safe will be best served through the internal affairs process in this instance," Interim Police Chief Geoff Jones said. "We will gather all available information in an effort to ensure consistent and exceptional service to our residents."
The policy also states that the report should include:
- The name of the reporting person
- The relationship of the reporting person to the missing person
- The name, age, address and all identifying characteristics of the missing person
- The length of time the person has been missing
- Other information deemed relevant
The Training and Recruitment Unit should train department members who may handle missing person reports, subject to available resources, according to the policy. It was not immediately clear if the responding officer had been trained.