Investigative Professionalism Recognized
Columbia Investigations and its detectives have been noteworthy and newsworthy, appearing in print and radio interviews. Please be aware that we will never violate a clients confidentiality... ever! Our clients come first!
Private investigator Melinda Kidder, owner of Columbia Investigations, uses her natural inquisitiveness and discipline developed through martial arts to solve cases.
Cell Phone, Tablet Hacking Becoming More Prevalent
COLUMBIA – Our cell phones and tablets hold our most sensitive personal information. Sometimes they track more of our lives than we’re comfortable with. The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Digital Forensics Unit examined 239 cell phones and 95 computers potentially hacked in 2014, and those are not the only hacking cases in mid-Missouri. Private Investigator […]
Private Investigators Declassified
What is happening to our children? Children are being bought, sold and smuggled right under our noses right here in the United States, maybe right in your own neighborhood.
Investigators with Integrity
Our team of detectives and support staff are committed to providing the highest quality investigative services.
I have worked with Melinda for approximately 15 years. She is my go-to person for all things in Missouri. Melinda is an honest, trustworthy and knowledgeable investigator. I can count on her to keep me up to date on my cases, and I trust her work. The details matter in this business, and Melinda gets me the results and details I need every single time!
Melinda is well known in the PI community, she conducts herself with integrity and honesty. I would recommend her without thinking twice.
When I became a target of workplace violence, stalking, theft, and identity theft, it was Columbia Investigations (CI) that came to the rescue and helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Melinda has the integrity, toughness, and honesty needed in investigators today. She is freakin’ awesome and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else for your investigative needs or even to establish a baseline as support for trial.
Melinda Kidder has provided insights and advice to others that appears both sound and reasonable. Further, she has a very enjoyable sense of humor and obvious intelligence.
Useful Tips and Tricks from the Blog
Fighting Trafficking with the Power of DNA Analysis
Melinda Kidder is attending a webinar: Fighting Trafficking with the Power of DNA Analysis
The Child Safety Challenge – Dare to be Different
Wondering what your kids are up to? You should be. Please educate yourself on the current threats to our kids in the form of social media challenges so that you can have an informed conversation with your young people. There are several making the rounds. #1 – The Duct Tape Challenge – One or a group of children duct tape another child and see how long it takes them to escape. Inherent dangers are asphyxiation and falling injuries. #2 – The Cinnamon Challenge – As seen on Mythbusters and YouTube, The spice, Cinnamon, is hydrophobic and, by definition, is not water soluble. The challenge involves trying to swallow a large spoonful of cinnamon. Since the body cannot dilute the cinnamon, the individual often inhales the spice and holds it in their cheeks while trying to swallow small portions at a time. The tragic results can be pneumonia or death by asphyxiation as the spice is drawn into the lungs, and burns, as the cinnamon is pocketed in the cheeks. #3 – Eraser Challenge – One of the more recent but an old challenge renewed and made popular again due to the internet is this self-harm competition. Individuals compete to see which of them can rub an eraser on their body the longest. The resulting burns are compared for the win. Obviously, the body burns are the primary issue. However, since erasers are obviously not kept in the most sanitary environments, secondary infections have also been observed as a result of this challenge. #4 – Salt & Ice Challenge – In this challenge, individuals dare each other to first put salt on their skin, followed by an ice cube on top. The salt lowers the temperature of the ice even further, resulting in frostbite. The challenge is to hold the ice on the skin as long as one can stand the burning sensation. This unfortunate challenge can result in up to third degree burns and severe scarring. As long as peer pressure exists, so will the need of some children to impress others. Building up the confidence of our children to withstand the need for approval in the form of abuse is vital. Helping our kids realize they have the strength to refuse to follow the crowd and make their own path is our duty.
Signs Your Spouse Is Cheating
No one wants to be the victim of a cheating spouse. It hurts the ego and leaves one wondering if the entire relationship has been a sham. The hurt can cut extremely deep and have a severe effect on future relationships. It can become hard to trust another partner again and cause brutal damage to one’s self-esteem. It can leave the victimized partner questioning everything about him or herself as well. Collateral damage can include the effect on children of the relationship as well as financial security. We’re often taught from childhood to ignore our instincts. Instincts, however, don’t go away. If you feel that something is wrong, it makes sense to “check it out”. Ask your partner what’s going on and try to open a dialogue. If your concerns are dismissed, but you still feel that something’s wrong, take a look at the list below and see if you notice a pattern. Remember, anyone can fit into a couple of these points below. However, if you’re noting a large swing in behavior, it could be indicative of a cheating spouse. The following include some signs that your spouse might be cheating on you: Privacy change: 1. E-mail or full computer access passwords are changed. 2. Avoids allowing you access to his/her cell phone. 3. Needs privacy when making phone calls. 4. Hides bills (cell phone, credit card, bank statements). 5. Wants time alone with friends when in the past you had accompanied one another. 6. Claims new personal interests which do not include you (new sporting league, book club, etc). 7. Changing clothing out of eyesight when modesty had not been a prior issue. Inconsistent Schedule: 1. Work schedule suddenly changes. 2. Work requires travel when there had been none in the past. 3. Frequently misses or cancels family or spouse engagements (family night, prior commitments with you). “Something just came up”. 4. Claims new personal activity, but times of activity are inconsistent. 5. Phone calls at odd hours. Habits change: 1. More time at work than usual. 2. More time spent on computer than normal. 3. Suddenly becomes asexual or wants more sexual activity. 4. Takes more pride in personal appearance. 5. Begins or drops habit (smoking, drinking, reading, etc). 6. Begins doing own laundry, more frequent/smaller loads and at odd times. 7. Showers immediately upon arriving home. Its not you, its me: 1. Claims need for space to “figure things out.” 2. Separates emotionally; becomes emotionally unavailable. 3. Refuses to discuss issues or partake in couples counseling. 4. Becomes physically unavailable for family/partner events or discussions. Its not me, its you: 1. Belittles inquiries, turning them around on you. 2. Dismisses concerns as paranoia. 3. Accuses you of being overbearing, suffocating, needy or prying. 4. Protests profusely. 5. Refuses to discuss your concerns. Separates from friends: 1. Avoids gatherings with those who may be considered “your” friends. 2. Limits contact with friends who would normally confront unusual behavior. 3. Avoids your family. Unavailable: 1. Suddenly hard to contact at work. 2. Often has cell phone turned off or leaves unanswered. 3. Friends with whom s/he was supposedly with make excuses why s/he cannot come to the phone and will have him/her call you back. 4. Not where s/he says s/he will be. From the outside in: 1. Frequent hang up calls when there were minimal or none in the past. 2. New social groups or interests which exclude you. 3. Receives gifts without reason or new objects are evident at home or in vehicle. 4. Friends recall seeing your spouse at time/location when spouse reported being elsewhere. 5. Co-worker attempts to reach spouse when spouse is reportedly at work. 6. Friends/family begin to inquire more about your relationship than normal. Remember, anyone can be found to fit into a couple of these molds. This is simply an effort to help you further explore the reasons you’re already reading this post.
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