Pre-emptive disclaimer: I am at least a week or two away from becoming “overly concerned”, so I don’t want this to sound like I’m fixing to hit “Submit New Thread”, and then immediately call the cops.
My scenario: typical neighborhood out in the 'burbs, early 40’s myself, live in the house next door to a really good-looking single girl, who I haven’t seen in almost a week. She and I barely know each other (by first name only), and usually only share small-talk whenever we’re both outside at the same time.
We’ve never exchanged numbers, even in a neighborly way (i.e. “hey, if I’m at work, and you see that my dog got out, please give me a call”). She’s never seen the inside of my house, nor have I seen hers.
Other than the fact that we live next door to each other (and neither of us have kids), we don’t know anything about the other one. I have no idea if she has family living in town, or not.
All the signs point to her being on vacation, but with each passing day, something “just doesn’t feel right”. Her porch light has stayed on constantly for at least a week now, which doesn’t seem typical.
Newspapers piling up in her driveway since last week; our “trash day” is Friday, and her bin just sat around at the edge of her curb from Thursday night until Tuesday afternoon, when one of the other neighbors must have rolled it up to the base of the garage door (we’re all front-entry garages here).
As mentioned, I’m sure the most likely scenario is that she’s on vacation, and some irresponsible neighbor/friend is supposed to be tending to her house to make it look “lived in”, and will probably come pick up all the newspapers (and roll the trash-bin into the garage), the day before she comes back in town.
So at this point I’m minding my own business, gonna let the next several days go by, and assume this will all “come together” in the end.
So getting into the “hypothetical”, if this continues for another week or two, then what?
I suppose my first option as the genuinely concerned neighbor would be to call the non-emergency police number, and just say “hey, you don’t know me, she doesn’t know me, maybe this is all nothing, but here’s the deal…” (and then point them to the first dozen paragraphs of this thread).
If I ask them to do a “welfare-check”, then what happens? Do they ring the doorbell, and if they don’t receive an answer, just start battering down the door?
What happens if they don’t find anything - do they “open an investigation”, or just file the police report to account for their time that morning, then forget about it? Who pays for the damages - them? her? me, for making the call in the first place?
Or, God-forbid they find her in there, passed away due to suspicious circumstances - then I assume I would become “Prime Suspect # 1”, correct? Not to sound like a complete ass, but that’s not something I’d really want to “get involved” with - the remote possibility of “come down to the station, take a polygraph test, blah blah blah”.
Just trying to figure out what would be the right thing to do, if this continues for another week or two. And perhaps more interestingly, just read responses to the basic hypothetical “what do cops do, during a welfare-check?”.