run somebody/something to earth/ground
run someone or something to earth
to find something after a search. Lisa finally ran her long-lost cousin to earth in Paris. After months of searching, I ran a copy of Jim's book to earth.
run to earth
Also, run to ground. Track down, find, as in Somehow we have to run those relatives of hers to earth, or It won't be easy, but I'm sure we can run that jewelry to ground. This expression comes from hunting, where hounds run their quarry to the earth or ground, that is, to their lair. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1800s.
run somebody/something to ˈearth/ˈground(informal) find somebody/something after a long, difficult search: I spent years looking for the stolen picture but eventually ran it to ground in London. ♢ The escaped prisoner was run to ground within a couple of days.
This comes from hunting and means to chase an animal to its earth (= its home or hiding place).