A few episodes are based on real-life disappearances.
Samantha: You wanna share a cab?
Martin: I live uptown.
Samantha: Yeah, I know.
There are a number of scenes which indicate that the show is actually shot in Los Angeles and not New York, where the show is supposed to take place. There are several supposed one way streets with double yellow lines painted down the middle (which do not exist in New York), large blue street signs (which are used in LA, as opposed to NY, which uses green street signs), and house numbers on each street painted into the sidewalk in front of each house, which is also not done in New York, but instead in Los Angeles.
Amongst the opening credits, for a brief moment the words "Amber Alert" are flashed on the screen. The Amber Alert system was formally inaugurated in the state of California, July 31, 2002. It drew both national and international recognition in its success in aiding authorities in their search for abducted children. In less than one year, the California Amber Alert system has been credited with aiding in the rescue of over a dozen children. The intial system was formulated in Texas in 1996, and is named after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who was kidnapped and murdered. As of April 10, 2003 a bill creating a national Amber Alert system has passed in the House of Representitives, and unanimously approved in the Senate. "Without A Trace" (2002) aired its first episode shortly after a summer littered with nationally covered child kidnappings including the famous Elizabeth Smart abduction. The show aired Elizabeth's profile following its November 21, 2002 episode, In Extrimis. All Profiles are chosen by the FBI, not the show's producers.