SENATOR LANZA INTRODUCES “CAYLEE’S LAW” IN NY - Bill Would Create Felony Charge for Failing to Report a Child Missing

Andrew J. Lanza

July 11, 2011

Senator Andrew Lanza has introduced “Caylee's Law” in New York State which would allow prosecutors to bring felony charges against parents who do not quickly report missing children. The bill would make it a class E Felony for a parent or guardian who does not report a child in their custody missing within 24 hours of disappearance.

 “In wake of the Caylee Anthony case, like many New Yorkers, I was shocked to learn that it is not a felony  to fail to report your child missing,” said Senator Lanza. “When a child goes missing there is no legitimate reason not to report it. It is a well established fact that when dealing with a missing child case every moment of delay weighs negatively in the life or death outcome. It is inconceivable and dangerous that a parent or guardian would not immediately report to the authorities when their child goes missing. Not doing so should be a serious crime and this legislation would do just that in the State of New York.”

According to the State Division of Criminal Justice Services, 20,309 children were reported missing in New York State in 2010.  The latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice indicate that 797,500 children were reported missing in a one year period.

Senator Lanza has also introduced legislation that would create a felony charge for a caregiver who knowingly fails to report a child's death or the location of a child's body within two hours of learning such information.