If Police Have Ability to 'Ping' Missing Person's Cell Phone, Why Not Do That?

Friday we spoke with a man who, while grateful that his wife is alive, is understandably frustrated that police didn't do more to locate 33-year-old Tanya Rider, who had been missing for eight days. Unbelievably, she survived a car accident and was tangled in the wreckage, which was hidden in a thicket of brush off a suburban Seattle highway.

After she failed to return home from work last week, Tom Rider contacted authorities to help him find his wife. It seems that a series of bureaucratic snafus and multiple jurisdictions prevented police from hunting for her. Moreover, they say, a missing adult doesn't necessarily warrant a search. Tell that to Tom who pleaded with authorities to do something because he knew his wife wouldn't simply run off.

Eight days after she disappeared, police "pinged" her cell phone and were able to pinpoint her location just off a highway and 20 feet down a ravine. She had been in a car accident and she was stuck in her vehicle for more than a week. Trapped any longer, she might not have survived.

It is understandable that police can't hunt for every missing adult, but some sanity should be brought to the situation. If authorities have the ability to "ping" a missing person's cell phone, then why not do that? Why wait eight days? (Yes, they correctly feared that her husband might have hurt her. That is so often the case with missing women.) So police likely did the right thing by giving him a polygraph test, but why not "ping" her mobile phone, too?

It seems logical that authorities need to cut through the red tape of jurisdictional issues and do what is necessary to find the missing person. The next one might not be as lucky as Tanya Rider.

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