New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean/Allen Sponsored “Caylee’s Law” Clears Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senators Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) and Diane Allen (R- Burlington) upgrading penalties for failing to report the disappearance or death of a child has cleared the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

Known as “Caylee’s Law”, the bill increases the penalty to a crime of the fourth degree for failing to report the death of a person to the proper authorities. A new crime of failing to report the disappearance of a child within 24 hours is also created under the legislation, carrying fourth degree penalties as well.

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Common-sense would dictate that the death or disappearance of a child be reported by his/her parents or guardians immediately. Unfortunately, the Casey Anthony trial in Florida showed us that some parents fail to exercise such common-sense and sound judgment. Particularly important is the provision in this bill that establishes a new crime for failing to report a child missing within 24 hours, which will help ensure cooperation with law enforcement and a speedy search effort that could save lives.

Senator Diane Allen

It is amazing to me that anyone who is responsible for the care of a child would need to be reminded to report his or her death or disappearance, but it has become readily apparent that this legislation is necessary for a small number of irresponsible and negligent individuals. It is my hope that this legislation, if passed, will both prevent tragedy and throw the book at parents, caregivers, and guardians who neglect their responsibilities.

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