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Short Description Missing Child

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Public Act 097-1079



Facts: Should it be a felony when a child comes up missing and a parent does not report it? This bill was started when a child, Casey Anthony was missing for 31 days and it was not reported. Since Casey Anthony's got acquitted in Florida, after her daughters death, it has prompted law makers that something has to change.

Issue: Parents or care givers have the responsibility to looking after there children. If they come up missing they should have a legal obligation to report this to the police in a reasonable time from, as soon as the child is missing it should be reported to authorities so an investigation can start. The sooner this occurs will give police officials a better change of finding the child alive.

Holding: A parent or guardian should report the death or the disappearance of a child under the age of 13 within 24 hours of the crime. In the case of a child under the age of 2 years old the reporting requirements is no more than a hour after and this Amends the Criminal Code of 1961.

Reasoning: Prior to the Casey Anthony Case there was not a time frame in which a parent or guardian should report a child's death or disappearance but after this case it was proven that something needs to be put into place. In this case the 2 year old child was not reported missing for a total of 31 days after. The groups that would have an interest in this would be public officials such as a social worker, caseworker, or investigator employed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Department of Human Services, or the Department of Children and Family Services. Since September 19, 2012, up to eleven states have enacted legislation, and eight more states have filed bills: Alabama (1), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (4), New Jersey (1), New York (4), Ohio (3), and Pennsylvania (1). Some main arguments in the bills include the qualifying age of a missing or dead child, how long the legal guardian has to report the incident to law enforcement and how the crime is classified.

Concurring/dissenting opinions: Some think that this law is unconstitutional and violates our 5th amendment rights. The law does not mention anything about the case of death or children that die from sudden death due to a illness. Also this law may make parents report things right away instead of trying to find there child themselves and this can lead to overwhelming to police with false alarms.

I think that as parents we have an obligation to protect our children and report if we think something is wrong immediately to the police. Waiting 31 days to report your child missing is inexcusable and should never have taken place and we should not allow this to happen again.



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