LANSING, Mich.—A person failing to report to law enforcement that a child in their care has gone missing would face a felony of up to two years imprisonment under legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today.
Senate Bill 580, sponsored by Sen. Tom Casperson, was introduced because of the recent Caylee Anthony case in Florida, which brought to light a shortcoming in Michigan law.
“When a child goes missing it is often a matter of life and death, so making sure a disappearance is reported immediately is important and potentially life-saving,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “This is not an overreaction to a national story. It’s an important bill borne out of tremendous constituent outpouring to fix Michigan law and better protect our children.”
Casperson said that, while the Legislature has tackled many difficult issues this year, none has produced as much attention as ‘Caylee’s Law’. His office received three times as many constituent phone calls and emails on the matter than any other issue.
Senate Bill 626, a companion measure also approved, establishes sentencing guidelines for the felony crime of failure to report a missing child under SB 580.
Both bills return to the full Senate for passage.