By Grant Bissell

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Social media and other new technologies are becoming valuable tools in missing persons investigations.

Lou Wright started police work in the 1980s and is now a private investigator for International Counterintelligence Services of Missouri. He's seen technology come a long way and says social media has practically become an extension of his agency, especially in the search for a missing person.

"What you look for, especially when you go on Facebook, is contacts, friends in the area, photos of where they've been," said Wright. "And that kind of helps you familiarize yourself with the person and known places where they frequent a lot. So if you are searching for a person that's a good starting point."

Wright says his agency is actually using some of those tactics right now on a case in Kansas City.

Another tool that's becoming more popular with law enforcement is the AMBER Alert that goes right to your cell phone. An FBI spokesperson says the power to get an instant message to millions of people can sometimes make or break a case.