Thursday, March 08, 2007

Missouri Senate approves alert for missing adults

Misouri Senate approves alert for missing adults

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri would have a new alert for missing adults under a measure passed Wednesday by the state Senate, while Amber Alerts would only be issued for children.

The bill passed 32-0.

Supporters said that the federal government has asked states to be more uniform in issuing alerts for missing children. The measure would also expand Amber Alerts to cover situations where authorities believe an abductor does not intend to harm the child.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Scott Rupp, said the expansion is needed to close a loophole in existing state law. It requires law enforcement officers to believe that a missing child is at risk before issuing an Amber Alert.

Under the current law, Rupp, R-Wentzville, said, "A custody battle if the child is abducted to live somewhere else, or an abduction where someone does not intend to kill or hurt the child but maybe raise the child as their own, would not trigger an Amber Alert."

The bill, which was included on the Senate's list of non-controversial consent bills, would also create a new advisory system that Rupp likened as an "elderly Amber Alert."

That alert would be trigged whenever an adult disappears and could be in danger. It would issued whenever someone goes missing who is mentally or physically disabled and requires the assistance of others. It would also be issued for missing adults who might be in danger.

The bill now moves to the House.


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