Saturday, November 7, 2009, IRBsearch Director of Brand Management and eMedia, Scott Harrell, and I had the pleasure of being invited to attend the Alabama Private Investigators Association (APIA) Annual Meeting. It was great being able to connect with other private investigators in the area as well as meet new people.
While training, certification and other association business was discussed by committee chairpersons, one of the main topics of discussion centered on proposed Alabama Senate Bill 24 that has been pre-filed for 2010 legislative consideration and heavily favored by the APIA Board of Directors in attendance. This legislation, known as the Alabama Private Investigators Licensing and Regulatory Act, would create a commission to regulate and license Private investigators in Alabama. All new private investigator applicants will be required to pass an examination administered by the commission designed to measure knowledge and competence in the investigations field and investigators will be required to have 6 hours of continuing education each calendar year.
Association members in attendance elected new officers for the 2010 Board of Directors and enjoyed a free lunch at Mr. Wang’s Chinese Restaurant, but the real highlight of the day was special guest speaker Nancy Kersh. She is an amazing woman and we were all deeply moved by her story…
The Nadia Kersh Story
November 2008 – After several years in Guam, Nancy and Kevin Kersh were very excited to be returning to the U.S. As a military family, they traveled quite a bit and Kevin had just obtained a position at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. They were particularly excited about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and a visit from their daughter Nadia and their grandson.
Before they could even settle in, on November 5, 2008 Nancy and Kevin received frightening news that their daughter Nadia had been missing since November 3, 2008 and that foul play was suspected. Nadia Kersh was last seen on surveillance video leaving her work at the Tria Market in Homewood, Alabama for her lunch break on November 3, 2008. Nadia apparently left her job in the early afternoon to pick up her 1 year old son from day care but never arrived.
The very next day in West Birmingham, AL, Nadia`s car was found abandoned and her purse was found in a nearby wooded area by some railroad tracks. The Homewood Police Department, FBI, and other federal, state, and local agencies have been actively investigating this case for over a year. It is believed Nadia was a victim of a violent crime and the Homewood Police Department is building a case against their prime suspect.
Now, One Year Later…
Nancy discussed her very personal experiences of facing a missing person crisis and how she dealt with it. She shared some very important personal experiences and issues as a result of being approached by private investigators during the early stages of the investigation into the disappearance of her daughter.
Keep the following in mind when dealing with the families of missing person’s cases:
• A private investigator should always keep in mind that although the first 48 hours following the disappearance of a person are said to be the most critical in a missing person’s case, they are also the most emotional and chaotic for the family. This may not be an appropriate time to solicit your services. It is often a good idea to leave the early stages of an investigation up to law enforcement when foul play is suspected.
If and when you do offer your services to a family:
• Treat missing persons and their families with respect
• Do not forget to convey to them – “I am so sorry for what you are going through….” It is so important to remember that family members’ lives have been turned upside down. Mrs. Kersh said that “I’m sorry…” were the two most important words she never heard.
• Expect the family to ask questions; it is their right after all.
• Recognize that family members may not be able to think rationally or make decisions for some time. Give them the space they deserve. Leave your business card rather than trying to make a hard-sell or calling them.
• Cooperate fully with law enforcement.
• Keep the family informed. Family members have a right to information.
• Never discount their hopes or their fears.
• Respect the rights of individuals, act within the boundaries of the law and be professional.
I cannot begin to imagine how extremely frightening, stressful and difficult it must be for families going through such an experience. The Kersh family is a true testament of strength, courage, and determination. You are in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.
Thank you Nancy, for sharing Nadia’s story…
If you have any information on Nadia Kersh’s disappearance, please call Homewood Police at 332-6262, or leave a tip with the Homewood Police Department Website.
Want to learn more? Head to www.HelpFindNadia.com
Managing Editor, Pursuit Magazine
This article is posted courtesy IRBseach, LLC.
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