Found deceased

When the worst happens and the person you are looking for is found dead, it is incredibly difficult. Read on to understand the process, where to get help, and how to look after yourself.

About missing people

Finding out that the person you care for has died is the worst ending to what has already been a very painful time. For some, the news will be a complete shock. For others, it was expected. Whatever you’re feeling after this news, whether that be fear, anger, guilt, desperation or relief, it is unique to you and is normal.

This time in your life will be painful. Whether the person died by accident, suicide or was harmed, you may have unanswered questions. Sometimes the practical steps needed are different because they were a missing person. Grief is heart-breaking. You are not alone.

We’re here to support you, for free and in confidence. Call or text 116 000.

Talk to us

Steps you can take

It's okay to do nothing. It's okay to say you can't manage and to ask for help. It's okay to feel very capable and want to get the practical jobs done. Grief is personal and finding out that someone has died is very hard. Below are some suggestions on what to do next.

Ask for help

If people offer help, say yes. Don’t struggle to go through this alone. It can also be helpful to have someone with you if you need to go to appointments or meetings.

Write things down

You may feel overwhelmed at times. Keep a note of questions you want to ask, or things that you have been told. Write a ‘to do’ list. And if you can, ask others to help with the things on the list.

Give yourself time

Grief affects everyone differently, and bereavement after someone has been missing brings with it its own challenges. Think about what you need to help you get through this tough time.

Our Guides

When remains have been found The police will usually notify a family if a body or remains have been found and they believe the deceased may be their missing relative. 

Read more information about the process the police take when they find a missing person’s body.

You have experienced ‘ambiguous loss’ and now a bereavement. Find out how to get support.

Discover which other support agencies and services could help you with grief and loss.

Understand the identification process, find out what the Coroner’s role is, and read more about your rights.

This information may be hard to read and the database hard to look at, but it may be of interest if you think the worst might have happened.

Sign up to be a Digital Search Hero

We have launched a regular email so that you can be aware of new missing person appeals and share them far and wide! We are also calling on all Heroes to be the eyes and ears for Missing People on the ground. Your sighting of a missing person could make a difference in a crucial time.