Reporting Missing Children | VideoVan Tieu | 2/25/2013
Bill 2125 would require caretakers to report a child missing within 24 hours if the child is under 13 years old; 48 hours if the child is between 13 and 17. It would also require the death of a child to be reported within two hours.
Even though the bill had overwhelming support, it wasn`t supported by everyone.
"I affectionately call this bill the `Make Mary and Joseph Felons Bill` because Jesus was missing for three days," said Senator Margaret Sitte, (R) Bismarck.
The bill was inspired by Caylee Anthony, who was missing for 31 days before her mother reported her disappearance. Sitte says this bill is unnecessary and over-reaching in North Dakota.
Although the case of Casey Anthony and her daughter Caylee happened in Florida, Senator Tyler Axness introduced the bill because he says child neglect does happen in North Dakota.
He recalled the story of two children found under a mattress on the Spirit Lake Reservation in May 2011.
"It took days to report the deaths of those [two children]. This does happen in the state of North Dakota, and there should be a penalty for neglecting parents or caretakers in that instance to be held accountable."
The bill`s carriers clarified that the caretaker is the person physically responsible of the child at the time, and they don`t need to report a death if it happens under the care of a health care professional or emergency medical service.
The bill now heads to the House.