SB 1087 Creates the Office of Missing Persons Advocate
Sponsor: Romine Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number: 6008S.01I Fiscal Notes
Committee: Seniors, Families and Children
Last Action: 4/5/2016 - Hearing Conducted S Seniors, Families and Children Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2016

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Current Bill Summary

SB 1087 - This act establishes, within the Office of Administration, the "Office of Missing Persons Advocate" to assist family members of missing persons and others in understanding law enforcement duties and resources, communicating with law enforcement officers and agencies, county coroners, medical examiners, and other agencies, and providing advice. The office is to be administered by a director and deputy director, who are to be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate for a term of six years. This act specifies the information that the office has access to, the powers granted to the office, and the requirements of the office.

Current law defines a missing person as a person who is missing and who meets certain characteristics. Under this act, a missing person is any person who is missing regardless of whether they meet one of the enumerated characteristics, and a "high risk missing person" is a missing person who meets one of the specified characteristics. The list of characteristics is expanded.

In addition, current law allows a person to file a complaint of a missing person with a law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction. A list of information that must be included with the complaint is provided. This act removes the requirement that the agency have jurisdiction and expands the information to be included with the complaint. The act also prohibits a law enforcement agency from refusing to accept a missing persons report for certain reasons.

This act specifies certain information that law enforcement agencies must provide to the person making a missing persons report, family members, or other persons who can assist in locating the missing person.

Under this act, local law enforcement agencies must make use of all available tools, resources, and technologies available to resolve a missing persons case. In addition, this act provides a list of information and materials a law enforcement agency must attempt to obtain if a person remains missing for more than thirty days.

This act requires that all DNA samples obtained in missing persons cases be immediately forwarded to an appropriate crime laboratory for analysis.

Under this act, law enforcement agencies must immediately determine whether a person who is reported missing is a "high risk missing person". The Missouri State Highway Patrol Missing Persons Unit must be contacted if the person is a high risk missing person. This act specifies further additional duties of law enforcement agencies and the Missing Persons Unit when a person is determined to be a high risk missing person.

This act expands the information regarding unidentified deceased persons that county coroners and medical examiners must obtain. In addition, this act requires county coroners and medical examiners to promptly enter information in national and state databases that can aid in the identification of missing persons.

Under this act, any person with custody of human remains that are not identified within 24 hours of discovery must promptly notify the Missouri State Highway Patrol of the location of those remains. An agency handling the remains of a missing person who is determined to be deceased must notify the law enforcement agency handling the missing person case. Documented efforts must be made to locate family members of the deceased person to inform them of the death and location of the remains of their family member.