|By Colin Campbell, The Herald (Smithfield, N.C.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Marshburn -- who's owned the Afford-A-Bond bail-bonds office on
For the Clayton native, becoming a sleuth-for-hire is a logical extension of his work with bail bonds. For the past three years, he's learned how to track bail-jumpers all over the country and bring them back to
Marshburn applied for the license to help his bail bonds business after the state of
Getting the credential required documenting 3,000 hours of investigative work, so Marshburn said he wants to use the license to help people. He's particularly eager to take missing persons cases -- already, he said he's been able to help a woman track down her biological sister in a matter of hours. "Most of it's computer work," he said.
There's plenty of personal information online, and Marshburn said he knows which databases to trust. His PI license also gives him access to some state databases, such as motor vehicle records.
Marshburn says he plans to add a nonprofit wing of his firm to help find missing children. "A lot of people can't afford a private investigator when a child goes missing," he said.
The firm can also help people facing criminal charges to prove their innocence -- assuming they didn't actually do it. A private investigator can help determine what prompted someone to become a suspect, and they can sometimes find evidence that helps defense attorneys. A veteran of the
Private investigators are often known for checking up on cheating spouses, but Marshburn says he won't take many of those cases. "Part of our job is to figure out what the person's intention is to do (with the information)," he said. "If their intent is to hurt that person -- no.
"We're not here to harass, stalk or bother anyone."
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