detective

as in investigator
a person not on the police force who investigates criminal or illicit activity or searches for missing persons the code used by the serial killer in his letters to the police was actually cracked by an amateur detective

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“Detective.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/detective. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

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