Momentum builds for 'Caylee's Law' - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Momentum builds for 'Caylee's Law'

Caylee Anthony's skeletal remains were discovered in December 2008. She had gone missing in June. (Source: CNN) Caylee Anthony's skeletal remains were discovered in December 2008. She had gone missing in June. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - Angered by the acquittal of Casey Anthony on charges she murdered her toddler daughter, a national movement is under way to create "Caylee's Law" in memory of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony.

Lawmakers in at least five states plan to introduce legislation to make it a crime, in some cases a felony, for parents to fail to quickly report a missing or deceased child.

We asked our Facebook fans if they'd support "Caylee's Law."

"Reasonable and sane people already report missing children ASAP, the kind who don't won't start because of a new law." - Anne Meier Hoy, Wilmington, NC

"It's a disgrace that she waited five minutes, much less 30 days to report her child missing." - Angel Hill, Huntsville, AL

"If a parent does not report a missing child within minutes of finding them missing they should be charged with a crime. Caylee lost on all accounts and did not receive the justice she deserved." - Barbara Lemons, Sturdivant, MS

"Personally, I think 48 hours is too long to wait. 12 hours is too long really, I guess if your 2 year old has been missing for 2 hours would be appropriate. The number of hours to report a child missing should correspond to the age of the child!!" – Alice Rigsby, WTVM viewer

"Most definitely! I already signed the petition at Change.org! I think everyone should support this law!" – Alexis Randles, WFLX viewer

"Guess we'll have to wait a couple of years before the Texas Legislature meets again. But we really need to be pressing to make this a federal law." – Robin London, KCBD viewer

"They should also require people like that to be fixed so they can NEVER have children again." – Renee Bertinot Herget, Clinton, LA

"I have signed it, it at least makes me feel like I am doing something to honor Caylee." – Debbie Tyler, Pell City, AL

"Reasonable time ... how long is reasonable? For me it's like 10 minutes, cuz i watchem like a hawk!!" – Samantha Slate, WAFF viewer

"I am all for a law that would not to allow another person to get away with what we all believe Casey has, but at the same time such a law could put parents at risk, I think that a law should be put in place that will protect a child but also not enable the law to manipulate a situation to fit under that law!" Brittany Anderson, FOX19 viewer


"It is unconscionable for a parent to delay notifying the authorities of the death of their child," said state Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, OK, who plans to introduce a version of the bill during the state's next legislative session in 2012.

Caylee Anthony was missing for more than a month before authorities were notified by Casey's mother, Cindy Anthony.

"Most parents would immediately notify authorities if their child had gone missing. Any delay could endanger the life of the child and, in the case of a child's death, make it that much harder to collect evidence."

Wesselhoft says he's researching the best way to approach the bill, but is considering giving parents 24 hours to report the death of a child. Parents would have 48 hours to notify authorities about a missing child under the age of 12.

Legislators in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia have followed suit, drafting similar bills.

Kentucky State Rep. Richard Henderson, D, has pre-filed a bill for the 2012 session, giving parents 12 hours to report a missing child.

"We're going to push this through for the memory of Caylee Anthony and hopefully somewhere in the scope of things, it might be a deterrent for someone who has ill thoughts toward a child," he said.

While laws may not stop parents from failing to report a missing or deceased child, supporters say it does create an avenue to prosecute them, an option that wasn't on the table when Casey Anthony failed to notify authorities about Caylee's disappearance.

"Placing a law on the books requiring parents and guardians to report missing children who are in significant danger in a timely manner will ensure that parents are held accountable for their actions. It will also assure that we put justice on the side of those among us who are most vulnerable," said Rep. Bill Hager, R - Boca Raton, FL, who plans to introduce similar legislation.

Supporters of such legislation say a law would give some measure of justice to 2-year-old Caylee.

"That precious child needs to have her name honored. Unfortunately there was no law to save her, but I'm up for something to prevent this from ever happening again," said Dana Renee Harris via Facebook.

Casey Anthony is set to be released from jail July 17, according to CNN. Convicted of four counts of lying to police, she received credit for the time she already served awaiting trial.

"It's sad to even have to take a law like this in consideration. It should come naturally to parents to report their children missing the moment they go missing," said Jessica Rodriguez-Gamez of Lubbock, TX. "Parents who don't report their children missing should also be charged with neglect of a child. Because every second that your child is missing is a step away from not finding them."

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