Senator Saland Introduces Bill to Establish a Felony for Failing to Report the Death or Disappearance of a Child

Stephen M. Saland

July 13, 2011

Senator Steve Saland (R, I, C - Poughkeepsie), Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee, announced he is introducing a bill to establish the crime of failure to report the death or disappearance of a child. 

The provision creates the crime of failing to report the death or disappearance of a child less than sixteen years old.  The bill creates a Class D felony when a parent or guardian knowingly or intentionally fails to notify and report to law enforcement of the death or disappearance of their child in a timely manner.

Recently, the Casey Anthony trial drew national attention when Casey Anthony was found not guilty of first degree murder in the death of her 2-year old daughter.  Despite her failure to report her daughter’s disappearance for over a month, Anthony was only found guilty of the misdemeanor crime of providing false information to law enforcement. 

“I am appalled that any child could knowingly be missing, and the adults who have legal custody of that child are not held responsible for failure to report that missing child,”  stated Senator Steve Saland.  “This legislation would ensure that prosecutors have the tools to ensure  justice for tragic cases like Caylee Anthony.”