How to track a missing person - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How to track a missing person

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PENDLETON, Or.—We've all heard reports of people missing  in remote areas whether it's someone in your community or a person you know.  One of the first steps is to form a search team.  KNDU discovered one interesting way rescuers find the missing.

‘Man tracking' is the technique the Search and Rescue team with the Umatilla County Sheriff's office uses to find missing people.  They use a tool called a ‘tracking stick.'  The stick measures the length of the footprint and the stride.

To become a tracker, you have to take courses.  Some people train for a few a years before becoming comfortable.  There are four levels of trackers. 

"You start out as a novice and then that's when you learn the basics, and you can go up to track aware and then sign cutter is the top," says Jan Good, Search and Rescue.

Good says the technique has been used since the 60's.  Only about 5% to 10% of local cases involve a search team.  She also says in the past 20 years every reported person in the area except two have been found by using the ‘man tracker.'