Legislators to weigh ‘Caylee' bill for NH
CONCORD — Lawmakers are set to weigh a bill today that would require parents and guardians to report within 24 hours to law enforcement authorities when a child dies or goes missing.
The bill, HB 1709, was inspired by the trial in Florida last year of Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee after not reporting her missing for a month.
The bill states that ';any person who has primary responsibility for the care and supervision of a child under 12 years of age and is unable to determine the location of the child for a period of at least 24 hours shall notify the local law enforcement agency.';
The child's death also must be reported.
';When kids aren't reported missing it gives (perpetrators) enough time to clean up the evidence,'; said Rep. Alfred Baldasaro, R- Londonderry, one of the bill's sponsors. ';Every time a child goes missing, it should be reported.';
The law would apply not only to parents and legal guardians, but anyone who has primary responsibility for a child at the time he or she disappears, such as a day care worker.
The Senate will take up a similar version of the bill at a hearing on Thursday.
Violating the law as it is currently written would be considered a Class A misdemeanor.
House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt acknowledged the penalty may need to be strengthened.
';That was the suggestion of the attorney general's office,'; he said. ';I will be suggesting we look hard at making a harsher penalty.';