When someone goes AWOL the person and their next of kin are sent a letter after 10 days, it is called the "Ten Day Letter." That says the person is AWOL, will be classified as a deserter, and that the person should be encouraged to return voluntarily. It does not advise that under federal law aiding a deserter is a federal crime.
After 30 days a DD Form 553 (Deserter arrest warrant) is issued and sent to the NCIC database so that law enforcement has access to that information. Most often a deserter is caught in a traffic stop for speeding. Another letter is sent to the next of kin that the person is a deserter.
The letters are not usually sent by mail that can be tracked.
Also, it is customary for some units to call the next of kin.
Next of kin are those persons listed on the DD Form 93 which is the persons official listing of the persons to be contacted in an emergency. They are required to keep this up to date, but that doesn't always happen.
Use of the word "fugitive" is inaccurate and meaningless for this question.
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If someone is AWOL that means they are in the military and for some reason have chosen not to report in. It is a bit different from a fugitive. Since you are not in the military you are not subject to the UCMJ but the person that is AWOL is. In non military lines of work if you do not show up you get fired in the military it is violation of the law.
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