An Amber Alert system expansion is set to include missing children. The West Virginia House passed the bill, called “Skylar’s Law,” unanimously. Traditionally, the nationwide alert system has been reserved for abducted children only, The law excluded alerts for children who were presumed runaways.
The proposed change comes after the death of Skylar Neese, who disappeared last summer. The 16-year-old was assumed to be a runaway. Surveillance footage revealed her sneaking out of her home in the middle of the night and voluntarily getting into a waiting car.
As reported by CBS News, authorities in West Virginia did not immediately enter Skylar’s name into the Amber Alert system. It was assumed that she would return to her parents’ home. Despite leaving money, her cell phone charger, and other personal belongings behind, the teen never returned home. Skyler’s name was eventually added to the Amber Alert System, but not until she was missing for two months.
Six months after her disappearance, Skylar’s remains were discovered in Wayne Township, Pennsylvania. The location was just 30 minutes away from the family’s home. The investigation into her death is ongoing.
With the help of a local lawmaker, Skylar’s family created the “Skylar’s Law” bill. The legislation proposes an Amber Alert system expansion. The expansion would include immediate notification for all missing children, particularly those thought to be in danger.
Although it has been difficult for Skylar’s family, they are dedicated to helping other families with missing children. As reported by The Republic, Skylar’s parents hope the legislation will prevent the death other missing teens.
The legislation will now be reviewed by the West Virginia state Senate. The bill proposes that in the case of a missing teen, local law enforcement would contact state police with the information. The state police would contact workers with the Amber Alert system, who would distribute the information.
If approved by the state Senate, the Amber Alert System will be expanded to include missing children along with those who are abducted. The expansion could potentially save the lives of numerous missing teens.
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