NORTH BERGEN – State Senator Nicholas J. Sacco will introduce a “Caylee’s Law” bill on Monday morning that will make New Jersey among the first states in the nation to require parents to promptly report a missing child. Named for Caylee Anthony, who was not reported missing for 31 days after her disappearance and was later found dead in December 2008, the bill seeks to protect other children from suffering the same tragic fate.
“No matter the outcome of the Casey Anthony trial, it is clear that more needs to be done to protect children, and this bill does that,” said Sacco. “I cannot think of any situation in which the parents of a young child would be justified in not calling the police immediately if their son or daughter went missing. Hopefully, this law will prevent other children from befalling the same sad, tragic fate as Caylee.”
“Caylee’s Law” would make the failure by a parent or guardian to report a missing child under the age of 13 to law enforcement within 24 hours a fourth degree crime, punishable by imprisonment of up to 18 months and/or a fine up to $10,000. It also would upgrade the failure to report a death to the appropriate authorities in a timely manner and/or disturbing evidence of a death from a disorderly persons offense to a fourth degree crime.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) is sponsoring an identical bill in the State Assembly that will be introduced at its next session. Sacco’s Senate bill will soon move on to the Law and Public Safety committee, where he is a senior member. If it passes the committee it will head to the full Senate, then after passing the Assembly to the Governor’s desk so it can become law.
For any additional information, please contact Philip Swibinski at 201-978-8651. Senator Sacco will have press availability in Trenton this morning and will hold a news conference in North Bergen Monday afternoon.