What to do if a loved one goes missing in a foreign country

Nicole Denise Jackson was 21 years old in the summer of 2018 when she left Birmingham for...
Nicole Denise Jackson was 21 years old in the summer of 2018 when she left Birmingham for Munich, Germany, to pursue love and her music career. Jackson's family said the communication began to decline and ultimately stop a few months after she left.(Jackson family)
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:48 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - When a loved one goes missing, it’s tough; when they go missing overseas, a family could find themselves in a twisted web of language barriers, confusion, and lack of knowledge of resources available to them.

That’s the plight of Nicole Jackson’s family who have been trying to get in contact with her since she left Birmingham for Munich, Germany in 2018 to meet a man she met online.

Ted Sexton, a veteran law enforcement official with multiple agencies including Homeland Security, and a consultant who helped in the Natalee Holloway case, gave advice to anyone who may find themselves looking for a missing person in a foreign country.

Sexton said to begin by contacting local authorities and the State Department, which heads U.S. embassies.

“You want to try to gather any records you have regarding credit cards, telephone records, anything that you have. Who’s the individual she’s with? As much information as you can,” Ted Sexton said.

Sexton said there are a number of state-side law enforcement organizations with international liaisons that could also be resources.

“From the Sheriff’s association. From IACP, the international chiefs of police,” Sexton said.

He says there is a multitude of resources available to Jackson’s family in Germany.

Sexton explained Jackson’s family should try to tap into the large American military presence in Munich.

Sexton attended school and lived in Germany for several years. He said while in training, many of the German officers spoke English.

Jackson’s family said they were having issues filing a police report due to a language barrier.

“I’ve already found somebody that can help her that speaks German that’s willing to help her,” Sexton said.

Sexton said it’s possible Jackson may have decided to go off the grid but because she had not told her family to ‘leave her alone’ or ‘stop contacting her’ Sexton said it was a good idea for Jackson’s family to continue searching for her.

“Going over there I don’t think is going to hurt. Going and seeing the Munich police. But it sounds like they need to find some additional information, and there are folks that can help them do that,” said Sexton.

Sexton offered to help the Jackson family in their search for Jackson.

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