- (Photo: Reuters)
Following Casey Anthony’s contentious murder trial in the death of her daughter, Florida’s Senate Panel, also known as “Caylee’s Law” committee, met Monday to discuss whether the state needed stricter laws in regards to reporting a missing child.
Casey Anthony waited a month before reporting her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony, missing. Police officials have demanded that parents should be forced to report a missing child to authorities immediately upon discovering their disappearance.
Sen. Mike Fasano has sponsored a version of “Caylee’s Law” that requires guardians to report a missing child within 48 hours or be faced with a felony charge. There are three other Senate bills bearing similar hourly requirements, according to The Miami Herald.
However, Manatee County Sheriff’s Maj. Connie Shingledecker believes that setting a time frame could confuse and deter people from making the call.
"I think once you put a timeframe in there, it can be confusing to parents and I don't want to confuse them any more than they may already be,” said Shingledecker. “I don't want them thinking that they have to wait 48 hours to report their child as missing."
She added, “If a child has suffered serious injury, permanent disfigurement, great bodily harm, or death, perhaps then this is where you would want to pursue a felony.”
Shingledecker shared the same sentiments as other law enforcement officials who testified before the Senate Select Committee on Protecting Florida’s Children.
“Right now, people think they have to wait 24 hours,” said Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones. “Setting any time limit sends the wrong message.”
Officials did, however, support the idea for reform, favoring the notion of tougher penalties for those that lie to police in cases involving serious bodily harm to a child or death.
On July 5, 2011 Casey Anthony was acquitted for the murder of Caylee – a verdict that left many shocked and outraged.
The committee is reportedly reviewing five bills that were prompted by public uproar following Anthony’s release, Sunshine State News wrote.