find out about recently deceased

OK, I need to find out if someone that I heard might have died really did die or not. I can’t seem to find a place where I can look at local obituaries that go back very far. By the way, this would have happened between 2 and 7 years ago, and from what I understand it would have been a murder. I have done a search on google for the persons name without having much luck (not surprising to me really). This is real important to me, and if more info would help anyone answer my question, please ask! Also, I live in Colorado Springs, CO. If anyone can give me some advice on how to get some info, it would be greatly appreciated. thanks all:)

If it was a murder call the local police station in the area. They’d be bound to have a record of it. You also might try calling a local media outlet (newspaper would probably be best but television or radio as well).

Social Security Death Index

Updated every 3 months or so.

And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a person’s SSN, just their name. If you can provide other info, such as birth or death dates or places, you’ll narrow the search down immensely. But if it comes up with nothing, then widen the search parameters and try again.

My wife is a genealogist and uses this all the time.

Just make sure your pop-up filter is on - lots of pop-ups on the site.

Hey thanks for the tip Rico, but no luck. I’m wondering how reliable that site you linked me to is though, because I did a search for 6 different relatives of mine that have died over the past 13 years, and none of them came up, so any other ways of finding out?

The SSDI is only as accurate as the relatives who report the deaths and the bureaucrats who input the data. My father has never shown up, but I know my brother sent in the info.

The SSDI also contains LOTS of typos.

Don’t be so certain that a murder will be reported in the local paper. Depends upon where it is. Sadly, in places like New York and Los Angeles, there are too many murders for the newspapers to cover.

Or if the paper covers it, they may not print the name of the victim if it isn’t known at the time the story went to press. And if it’s not a big story, there may be no followup.

It’s pretty hard to prove that someone is dead unless you turn up a death certificate.

Try calling your local library. If it was a murder then it must have made the local paper and the local paper may put out a subscription database of past articles. I know we have this service at my library for our major paper and it comes in handy for checking up on recent, local events. Even if there isn’t an article on the murder, there should be an obit you may be able to find.

You can always get information from the state Vital Statistics agency where the person died. Everyone who dies has to have a death certificate filed. If the person died in Colorado, here is the website.


Found a few people I knew in the search engine.

If none of the good ideas mentioned so far are of any help…you say this is very important to you. Is it important enough to spend some money? It’s amazing what a good private investigator can find out.

I’m unfamiliar with your area, but do you have a major newspaper thats available on-line? For SE Wisconsin we have which has a searchable Obitutary section. Always worked for me.

Social Security Death Index tips, if you’re not finding what you’re looking for:

  • Don’t use a person’s middle initial in your search.
  • Don’t use the exact date of death in your search; use only month and year.
  • Try using the person’s first initial instead of first name. Some people registered for their Social Security numbers using odd forms of their given names.

Remember that the SSDI contains people with Social Security numbers whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration from 1962 to the present, or who died before 1962 but their S.S. accounts were still active in 1962 (for instance, paying out benefits to a survivor).