In the summer of 2018, Texas Investigative Network, Inc. was retained by a law firm client to locate a Witness (Subject) in a civil lawsuit. This Subject, a former city employee who worked in the waste management division, was believed to have first-hand knowledge that contradicted opposing counsel’s argument as to the cause of a dry well flooding during a recent storm.
Initially, our law firm client provided TIN the Subject’s name and a possible address. After exhausting all in-house, proprietary databases, courthouse records, social media, and a variety of online informational sources, TIN was left with a few outdated residential addresses and telephone numbers, none which proved helpful in confirming a current residential address or employment for our Subject. In addition to the outdated information obtained, TIN developed a telephone number for the Subject’s father. Investigator Dillender contacted the father, who informed him that he is estranged from the Subject and the rest of family and had not spoken with them in over a year. The father provided Investigator Dillender a general geographic area of where the Subject and family members were now believed to be residing, but he did not know the actual address.
At this time, Investigator Dillender traveled to the area provided by the Subject’s father. After knocking on multiple doors, Investigator Dillender was eventually able to make contact with the Subject’s mother, who informed him that the Subject lives in a trailer on the property; however, he was currently at work. Investigator Dillender provided the Subject’s mother his personal cell number for her son (the Subject) to contact him.
After several days, the Subject contacted Investigator Dillender, who coordinated a phone call between the Subject and our client. While on this call, the Subject provided details about the incident which were favorable to our client and also agreed to cooperate in a deposition, if needed.
TIN recognizes the importance of utilizing every possible on-line source, computer database and informational leads when conducting locate assignments. Many difficult locate assignments can in fact be successfully concluded via computer research and/or via telephone inquiries. Often; however, field work is the next essential step to uncover the most current and critical facts for our clients. Today, many of our modern era Investigators rely exclusively on social media, computer databases and on-line information sources to conduct a “full and comprehensive” investigation. In fact, many Investigators remain hesitant to simply pick up the phone or use a “boots on the ground” approach to solving difficult locate assignments. In this particular case, Investigator Dillender’s willingness to pick up the phone, knock on doors and make field inquiries was the catalyst in solving this Subject locate assignment.