As an investigator, often you never know what your efforts will reveal. AND you really don’t know what the results may mean to the client. I feel like I am a reporter and there is no way to sugar coat the findings. My job is to report the unvarnished truth. I learned long ago that you don’t hire a private eye to find out information you are not ready for.
I had a recent case for a client who wanted me to locate his mother. He was raised by his father’s family in South Carolina after the parents split and never saw her again. The client (about 55 years old) was aware his mother could be deceased by now. He gave me the information he had on his mother, and I set to work. Later, I was not finding her and doubted the information he provided me.
The client then told me he was going back to South Carolina soon for a family reunion and would ask his uncle to verify the information. When he did this he found that maybe his mother was not born in NYC as he told me, but possibly in Pennsylvania. This info changed everything, and I was able to find her family in the census for Pittsburgh in 1930. With the new information I was able to find the mother- on the SSDI. This is the Social Security Death Index. She had died in 1991, in Brooklyn.
Now, I had the unhappy task of telling the client his mother was gone. As I did I could sense no real disappointment in him. He then told me that in 1991 he was in the Navy in San Diego and struck up a mail correspondence with his mother in Brooklyn. He was pleased to have the letters back and forth and started to re-form a connection with her when suddenly her letters stopped coming. Now he knew why. His mother had died. It wasn’t that she rejected him, again. Only that she died, and no one knew to tell him. He was actually relieved with the news.
I felt better about the whole thing and was reminded that as a p.i.- “you never know”.