Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Reflections 2016

Happy New Year everyone, I know, we are a little late. But our sentiment remains the same. When one decides to become a private investigator you take on many different roles. You take on the role as a counselor. You take on the role as an advocate. You take on the role as a problem solver. And sometimes when things go right, you become your clients champion. 

As we reflect on our 2016 year, we realize how blessed we have been to close two decades old cold cases. Two foundlings, one of which was our own Rosie Morrow's case, and the other of a gentlemen who became not just a client but a friend. He saw Rosie's case on the news and enlisted our services to try and help him as well. We have helped in tipping the scales of justice by obtaining evidence that showed that the wrong person was being held behind bars for a crime that they did not commit.  We have caught those that attempted to cause fraud to our insurance system by claiming to be injured when they did not appear to be when they thought no one was watching. 

We have received the greatest gifts, photo's of clients that were reunited with their children after years of not seeing them and fighting to have those moments with them. We cherish these at the greatest compliment, knowing that God has decided to bless us with the opportunity to be an agent of change in these peoples lives. We have helped spouses who suspected that their spouses were cheating, delivering the bad news at times, but also sometimes delivering the good news that no infidelity was occurring. We have helped get people answers, whether they were the facts that they wanted to see or not. Small changes, but priceless to those that needed to know. 

While we reflect on the cases that we were able to bring to a successful conclusion, we have to acknowledge the ones that still remain cold. The cases whose folders still remain on our desktops as a constant reminder that we have not looked everywhere. They not only illuminate on our computer screens but also in our minds. A reminder that someone is still in pain, that their answers still remain unknown. 

One of those cases is that of a young woman who only has photograph of her father that she recently obtained from her mother. Her mother, who is not a fan of her search efforts for her father  only provided minimal information for she does not want to revisit that part of her life. Her Mother maybe knowingly or unknowingly, holds the key to unlocking the door that will lead us to her daughters father. 

We also think of an adoption case. A biracial woman who we assisted in locating her mother. Her mother a Caucasian woman from the south, lacked any empathy or desire to help her now grown up daughter. Shutting down and refusing to answer questions about the why, or also as importantly, the who her father is.  My client is hoping to connect with him. DNA may be the gateway for solving that case. That case is currently waiting for Ancestry DNA results to move forward. 

Already 2017 has presented us with the opportunities to reunite family, to help those that feel that justice has been fleeting. It has been a pleasure to be of service to those of you in 2016 and before. We appreciate you allowing us to be apart of your story. We at Morrow Detective Agency hope that you have a blessed and successful New Year!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Beauty through the cracks

It's an early sunday morning in the tenderloin district in San Francisco, the fog is just starting to dissipate. Our investigator is waiting eagerly for a facility that specializes in helping mentally and physically disabled women get back on their feet to open. Today after two months of investigating is the end of a case that has been a lifetime of questions for a client.  

Morrow Detective Agency is honored to take on pro bono cases, especially ones that involve putting a family back together or helping the innocent regain what is theirs. We were tasked to help a client locate their Mother that they had been taken away from when they were young. Back in the late eighties a woman who was a former decorated military soldier had started making a family, unfortunately as her family was forming she started her bout with schizophrenia. This eternal battle that she was stricken with eventually led to her losing custody of her children. My client was placed into the system and eventually with another family. As time went by the client wondered about her parents as well as her siblings. 

The client was lucky to meet some wonderful genealogists who were able to assist her with getting clues, she reached out to the state and was able to get a copy of her birth certificate. But that is where the biggest part of the puzzle formed, the name on the birth certificate seemed to belong to a person who no longer existed. At this point our company was contacted and we decided to do what we could. A thorough search was conducted and we were able to discern that the woman had in fact changed her name. A search on that name produced a history of a transient lifestyle, it also showed other of the client's siblings coming in and out of the mother's life. Eventually our search led us to San Francisco. We placed phone calls and found out that the Mother had gotten hold of her illness and was residing in a place for homeless women who have mental or physical disabilities. We attempted to find a good number for the women but all the numbers we had came back disconnected. We called the manager of the building and asked that they pass over a message to their tenant. 

Two months go by with no word back from the mother. The questions of course are still ever prevalent, did the subject not want to be connected to her family? Did the manager fail to pass on our message over to her? Had the subject relapsed into her illness and not be able to discern reality from illusions? The only way to find out would be to go up to the city by the bay and see for ourselves. 

On this Sunday morning our investigator is told that they will not allow visitors into the building until after 8 o clock. The neighborhood that the woman resides in is not the best, however sometimes if you allow yourself the time to see past your fears, you can observe some great things. While walking through the neighborhood we observed a man going from doorway to doorway with a broom and a bag, cleaning his neighbors doorway. We observe a man running to a donut shop and coming out and handing a homeless man a warm donut. Through the dirt and grime and the feeling of dismay of how a country as rich as ours is can have streets like this in it, there was beauty. 

8 o clock comes and we are admitted into the building, a small Asian woman with kind eyes asks our investigator if we can help her get her mail, which she has to stand on her tip toes in order to get. We gladly assisted her and she led us to the old school lift. We asked if she knew the woman we were searching for and said that she did. She said that the woman was nice but kept to herself. Our investigator get's off on the second floor and the small woman smiles and wishes the investigator a great day. Room 219 was located at the end of the hallway,  as we walk through the hallway some of the women that were greeting each other got quite and gave us suspicious stares. We get to the unit and knock on the door and after a moment the door cracks open partially. We explain to the woman who we are and more importantly who we are there for. We say the name of her child, the name on the birth certificate that has since changed and the woman corrects us. A light of recognition is in her eyes. She opens the doorway and though still guarded comes out and is ready to hear the rest. After explaining why we were there she simply asked what does the client want to know? We tell her that the client want's to know if she is ok? The woman smiles and says that she is. We ask the woman if it will be ok for the client to call her. The woman sadly shakes her head, she unfortunately cannot afford a telephone. The woman said that either the client is going to have to write her or come down and see her. But she was more than willing to speak with her.  We ask the woman if she would be willing to allow for us to take her picture so that the client can see her. The woman gladly has her picture taken. After a few more minutes of idle chit chat about San Francisco our investigator tells the woman goodbye and we depart the city by the bay. We pass on the confirmation of finding the mother to the client who is ecstatic and making arrangements to communicate with her

All we can hope is that the Mother will be able to continue to gain ground against her illness and that her family will all one day be reunited. It is easy to look at the surface of things and think that is the only thing worth seeing, however if you just take a moment and study things you may see the beauty that has slipped through the cracks. 


Morrow Detective Agency is a licensed private investigation firm located on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles, Ca in Simi Valley, CA. Morrow Detective Agency is capable of performing surveillance, process service, locates, background investigations, asset investigations, and more. Please feel free to visit our website at www.MorrowDetectiveAgency.com or give us a call at (805) 823-3540 and allow us to make your problem our solution!

 


Thursday, February 11, 2016

The one that got away

We often start our blog with one day a client called. Well today, we are not going to disappoint. One day a male client called. He needed for us to find a woman that he used to know. As is our normal screening process for these type of request, we asked the client about his story. The client was originally from a mid-western state. While working for a manufacturing plant he started getting close to a woman who worked as an office manager. The woman was pretty and had an outgoing personality. The client and the woman would spend time together on breaks and would make the occasional phone call. After a while the client and the woman got to be close, unfortunately the client was called to move to the west coast and eventually fell out of touch with the woman. Fast forward approximately 23 years. The man is no longer in a relationship that he started here on the west coast. He reflects as we all have a tendency to do about happy times, and the people that were around.

After providing us with his story, we advised the client that we have certain rules that we strictly adhere to when working on these type of reunification cases. The primary rule is that we will complete a reunification if both parties agree to it.  If the target ( the person we are seeking) does not want to be reunited with the individual than we don't provide our client with their contact information. This protects the target from being stalked, the client from becoming a stalker, and our company from the nightmare of helping someone put themselves in the position to do someone some harm. The client of course had some questions about this, his main question was how would he know that we had successfully concluded our job if the target declined to be contacted by the target. We advised him that we request that the target goes on recorded record to state that they do not wish to be contacted by the target. The client agreed to our terms and provided us the information that we would need in order to get started on his case. 

Imagine searching for someone with an extremely common name, something like Jane Smith. Well our client was searching for a similar common name. The only saving grace with this case was he had an approximate age range. Not a birthday, but a decent age range. We searched for the target with the given parameters and came up with 5 potential subjects. The first subject was in Iowa, further investigating showed that she worked as a dispatcher and was married. A soft inquiry was made and we were able to determine that she was not the Jane that we were searching for. The next Jane we caught up to had three children and was divorced. She coincidentally also was an office manager. However after speaking with her we were able to determine that she did not know our client. The other two remaining targets were the same, not the right people. The last name on the list was the one that we were hoping to avoid, this Jane had unfortunately passed away.  We were able to determine some of our findings by speaking with her mother who confirmed that she did work for the company that our target had worked for. We also were able to locate an online obituary that had a picture on the front cover. 

After compiling all of this information we had to do the hardest part of the job. We presented it to our client. Our client was shocked when he heard the information. He stated that he had known that she was having some challenges before she left and he wanted us to find out how she died. He felt that she may have fallen victim to foul play. The following morning we made our inquiries and found out that the she had in fact been a victim of foul play, but to herself. She had unfortunately committed suicide. This news devastated our client.  It was not what he had planned to hear, it certainly was not the ending that he was hoping for. Our client filled up with regret, he felt that he could have been the one to change this ending of her story. Unfortunately she became the one who will forever be the one that got away. 

Morrow Detective Agency is a licensed private investigation firm located on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles, Ca in Simi Valley, CA. Morrow Detective Agency is capable of performing surveillance, process service, locates, background investigations, asset investigations, and more. Please feel free to visit our website at www.MorrowDetectiveAgency.com or give us a call at (805) 823-3540 and allow us to make your problem our solution!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

No refunds for the lonely

Being single in modern times is tough, you open up social media and are inundated with photographs of seemingly happy couples, or post's of couples being at romantic places. Most of us do not want to be alone. We weren't designed to be so. 

A client of mine called one evening. She had met a gentlemen online through another friends Facebook page. After chatting with this person, both online and on the phone she started to get some feelings for him. The man advised my client that he was a widower, his wife died of a heart attack last year, and he was left to raise their minor aged daughter alone. The man was finally going through his grieving process and was ready to find someone to move forward with in his life. My client wanting companionship as well,  and was delighted that this mans desires matched her own. After a short while things started to slowly change. The man told my client that he sometimes has to fly out of the country on business and that he would be going to Nigeria on a trip. 

While out of the country my client and her paramour continue to keep in touch. They speak daily and the man starts to ingratiate himself into her life. One day the man calls my client and says that he is in need of her help. As she knew he was out of the country but his daughter was at his sister's house and he needed some money to send to her for her birthday party, would she mind sending $100.00 to help him out? My client happily wires the money to his sister so that his daughter could have a great birthday party. Another couple of weeks go by and the man calls my client again, this time he has been robbed of some money and he is trying to get out of the country to go to his next place of business. He asks if she could please send him $500.00 to help him out? My client goes to the store and wired him the additional $500.00.

Another week goes by and the man is keeping in touch with my client. As they are cementing plans to meet face to face, tragedy strikes again. The man is stuck out of the country and needs money to pay for a new passport to go back home, he states that he is being held on the continent and will need an additional $5000.00 in order to come home. At this point my client becomes highly suspicious, she calls our offices and gives us the name, address, telephone number, deceased wife's name, and the name of the mans daughter. Before she continues on with this she wants to make sure that he is who he says he is and that everything is legit. Normally when a detective agency is supplied with all of this information we are able to pull in a lot of results. Well that did not happen, in fact, there was nothing, the name and date of birth could not be found in any databases. The address that he said he bought and lived in, could not be found anywhere, no county recorders recorders or tax records. The telephone number came back with no subscriber information, this usually indicates a prepaid burner phone. No deceased wife as well. The biggest kicker was when we were able to take his social media photographs and link them to different accounts with different names. We also were able to locate stories about him specifically and were able to find real photos of the con artist. 

Obviously by now you can see that this is fraud. My client was being strung along and taken for a ride. Once we reported our findings to her, our client became upset. She confronted the man with what we found and the man lied about it to the end, he even stated that he wanted to speak with the investigator and asked if the client had something for the investigator. But by this time it was too late the client saw through his charade, unfortunately there are no refunds for the lonely though, since anything you wire overseas comes with a warning. Hopefully someone out there will read this and not be taken advantage of, if you are going through this or you know of someone who is we encourage you to speak with either law enforcement or a professional licensed investigator. Thankfully my client contacted us before she was thousands of dollars in the hole. Some people aren't that lucky. 

Morrow Detective Agency is a licensed private investigation firm located on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles, Ca in Simi Valley, CA. Morrow Detective Agency is capable of performing surveillance, process service, locates, background investigations, asset investigations, and more. Please feel free to visit our website at www.MorrowDetectiveAgency.com or give us a call at (805) 823-3540 and allow us to make your problem our solution!

Monday, November 30, 2015

She just keeps disappearing

We have written about these type of cases before, however this one has some differences. We were first contacted by this client at the beginning of the year, the client's ex wife was keeping a minor aged child from him, despite a court order stating that he has the right for visitation. The client's family had hired a different investigation company and they were unable to locate the woman. The client was able to subpoena the woman's records and found out that she was in the Southern California area. We immediately ran the woman through our databases but found nothing but old address information. When you are in these type of situations you ask who else would have this information? Does the subject have any close relatives or friends? Utilizing a pretext on the subjects Mother led us to her. We found her vehicle parked in front of a residence and after sitting and waiting around the subject came out accompanied by her and our client's child. We happily reported back to our client that we located the subject, the next few weeks our agency spent time serving her and other occupants of the residence. They go to court and our client is able to win more time as well as orders that she cannot withhold her residency information from the client. All is good...or so we thought.

A few months later we get another call from the client, the client needs for us to confirm whether the subject still resides at the address or whether she has moved. After several trips over to the subjects residence we finally make contact with a subject who confirmed that the woman moved a month and a half ago. We report back to our client of our findings, we again run the woman through databases, this time the databases showed her address that we had found, but due to her just moving a short time ago, they had not caught up to her new address. At this point the woman is investigator savvy, She knows the tricks of the trade, or at least how she was found last time, so a pretext to her and her relatives yielded no results. Now we have options, here, we can wait for the databases to catch up, we can sit and wait at a relatives house around the holidays and try and tail her from there, or we can wait for the mandatory visitation that she has to bring the minor to, and try and follow her home from there. We went with the third option, and the third option led us to place in the valley area. We happily report back to our client where the woman is now residing and more importantly, where his child is living when the child is not with him.

We often wonder why grown people would act this way? Outside of abuse, whether it be physical, sexual, or verbal, it is not ok to with hold a child from either parent. Even if that parent is falling short or late on child support. Surely if the tables were turned the mother of this child would not appreciate having to jump through hurdles in order to do what is her God given right, be a part of her child's life. So we present a question to you, do you think that this is ok, if so why, if not why?

Morrow Detective Agency is a licensed private investigation firm located on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles, Ca in Simi Valley, CA. Morrow Detective Agency is capable of performing surveillance, process service, locates, background investigations, asset investigations, and more. Please feel free to visit our website at www.MorrowDetectiveAgency.com or give us a call at (805) 823-3540 and allow us to make your problem our solution!


Friday, October 30, 2015

More than meets the eye

Very rarely are we afforded the opportunity for a second chance. In April our offices accepted a case to locate a witness and serve a subpoena on him. Very simple premise and something that we do all of the time. So we run our quarry through our database and find an address for him, one that our client did not know about, and one that showed up as current. We go to the residence and ask for the witness, right off the bat we meet resistance. A male told us to get out there and that no one by that name lives there and has never lived at that address, we go back to our offices and run a property search to see who owns the property and low and behold our witnesses name is on the deed, we also ran through the license plates on the vehicles present and found a plate that had our witnesses name as the registered owner. 

The following day we go back out, armed with the knowledge that this guy has to be living here or at bare minimum is connected to the residence. We knock on the door and a woman answers, we tell her why we are there and she slams the door in our face. At this point in the game we are no closer than where we were at the beginning. We do a mini surveillance the next few days at random times in an effort to try and catch our witness outside, all of these efforts are done to no avail. We grudgingly report back to our client about our efforts and our unsuccessful results. 

About six months later we get a call from the client, they still are in litigation and this witnesses testimony is needed in order to tilt the scales in their favor. They are willing to pay whatever is needed in order to get this man served. After sitting back and thinking up strategies, we decide that we are going to approach them in a manner that they will not only open the door but love to talk to our investigator and give us information. Our investigator dressed up as a delivery person. We knock on the door and the same woman that slammed the door in our investigators face, opened it, we inquired about our witness but were informed that our witness actually did not reside at the address, he resided in a nearby city and she even called him for us, after speaking with us our witness provided us with his home address, and the times that he is usually available. 

The following day we went to the witnesses residence and served the subpoena, the witness of course was not happy and didn't accept the service, he was even confused about how we had located him since his house, cars, and other possessions were all in his wife's name. Our response was, the delivery man told us. We then informed him that denying service does not mean that the service does not count in the eye's of the court. We took a picture and closed our case. 

We learned a few things from this situation, one not everything is as it seems, the residence and vehicle in his name, the vehicle was also registered to his sister and she was the one that was occupying the residence. Just as us disguising ourselves as a delivery person, it does not mean that this what we truly were and though we did not get exactly what we wanted from that situation, what we were able to obtain ended up being more valuable, and ended up solving the case. 

Morrow Detective Agency is a licensed private investigation firm located on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles, Ca in Simi Valley, CA. Morrow Detective Agency is capable of performing surveillance, process service, locates, background investigations, asset investigations, and more. Please feel free to visit our website at www.MorrowDetectiveAgency.com or give us a call at (805) 823-3540 and allow us to make your problem our solution!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Selfish

In the world of divorce or broken relationships one thing is forever prevalent. Greed. Well let me retract, maybe not all of the time, but definitely more often than not. Private investigators are utilized a lot in custody cases specifically. The scenarios can vary, they can go from investigating allegations of abused time and neglect, allegations of one of the parents not working, allegations that the other parents significant other is not good or fit to be around the kids...etc. Or it can boil down to just being greedy and not wanting to share time with the other parent for personal reasons.

One day our offices were retained by an attorney client to assist in locating a woman who had taken of with her and the client's child. The client had been trying to see his child for the past year and every time he got close the woman would take off and her family would help in hiding her. Normally we are skeptical with these cases due to the amount of abuse and stalking that is going on in the world, however we conducted a background investigation on the client and found nothing that would indicate that abuse had occurred. After taking down the information that the client had provided to his attorney we set out to locate the woman and her daughter. Database searches were not able to pull up any new information. We utilized pretext calls to no avail. Finally after continuing to hit brick wall after brick wall our we decided to locate the woman's Mother. Most Mom's know where their kids are living. We sat on the Mother's residence for a couple of days and finally the woman and her child showed up. We quickly took a photograph of the woman and the child. The woman left the child and we followed her to her place of employment. We were able to determine what time her shift would end and came back at the end of the shift time. The woman was followed back to her Mother's residence and then after picking up the child, to her residence. The following morning we reported our findings back to our client. The client decided that they would like for our investigators to serve papers on the woman to initiate reunification and custodial time. 

A couple days later we went to the woman's residence and knocked, we heard noises in the residence and even heard the t.v. volume get turned down, but no one responded to our inquiry. We decided that we would attempt service at the woman's place of employment since she obviously was not opening the door or attempting to interact with anyone. The following morning our investigator waited for the woman to show up at work, when she did we served papers on her and even took a photograph since the woman was refusing service. We filed the paperwork with the court, including the picture, and the woman never showed up. The judge issued orders for a slow reunification, my client would be able to see his daughter every Saturday for eight hours, this would take place for about a month and half and then the time would get extended. The only problem was that these new orders needed to get served on the defendant, our offices attempted services again and the woman was no longer living at her residence, we went to her job and found out that she had quit her job as well. One of the employees feeling empathy to my client's situation advised that the woman moved out of state down south. We reported this back to the client's attorney and the attorney decided to sit on the case and wait a while. 

The following year our offices were contacted and we were requested to locate the woman as the client heard that she was being seen around town. Taking a short cut from our prior experience we waited at her Mother's house and sure enough she showed up. We again attempted to serve her but she denied the paperwork, this time we not only took photographs but also recorded the attempt. Our investigator had to go to court and give testimony and show supportive evidence, the judge found the woman in contempt of court but unfortunately she did not want to involve law enforcement as she felt that this would have a negative impact on the child. I guess the other negative impact, the child growing up without a father was not as serious or at least not considered to be as serious.  

Another year goes by, our offices are contacted by the client directly, he tells us that he knows where his child is going to school and he needs the woman served again, this time the judge was putting orders for full custody for my client due to the woman's blatant disregard for the system. We again waited around and finally got the paperwork to the woman for the third time. This time the woman accepted the paperwork, she even asked for our client's phone number which was in the documents. A funny and amazing thing happened after that. The woman called my client and arranged for him to see his child. After that day the client and his child have grown closer and he has been able to be a part of the child's life. We recently received a photograph of the client with his child. 

We don't know why this woman kept her child's father from being a part of the child's life, we don't know what prompted the woman to change her mind. But we do know that the look in the child's face and the look in our client's eye tells us that no reason outside of abuse is enough. The damage of kids growing up without their parents is unacceptable. It has been proven that children grow up to be better balanced and more successful when both parents are actively engaged in their lives. We at Morrow Detective Agency hope that more people will take that into consideration before going the selfish route. 

Morrow Detective Agency is a licensed private investigation firm located on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles, Ca in Simi Valley, CA. Morrow Detective Agency is capable of performing surveillance, process service, locates, background investigations, asset investigations, and more. Please feel free to visit our website at www.MorrowDetectiveAgency.com or give us a call at (805) 823-3540 and allow us to make your problem our solution!