January 19, 2012
AUGUSTA – Democratic State Rep. Anna Blodgett of Augusta introduced a bill to help protect children by making it a crime to fail to report a missing child under the age of 13 within 48 hours or to fail to cooperate with an investigation into the death of a child. She presented her legislation before the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on January 19.
The bill is modeled after similar legislation in other states. In many states the legislation was prompted by recent cases involving missing children that went unreported, most famously the case of Caylee Anthony in Florida.
“I submitted this bill and proposed amendments because it is a tragedy that children go missing every day and we should be doing everything we can to try and find them,” said Rep. Blodgett. “I was contacted by over 100 constituents who shared my concerns and asked me to submit a bill.”
This bill, as amended, proposes to make it a Class-D crime to fail to report a child under the age of 13 who has gone missing within 48 hours. Under current law there is no penalty for failing to report a child missing. The bill also makes it a Class-D crime to fail to cooperate with an investigation into the death of a child.
The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will debate the bill further in the next few weeks. A work session on the bill has not yet been scheduled.
Jodi Quintero [Blodgett], 287-1488, c. 841-6279