Governor Matt Blunt pays tribute to law enforcement agents and volunteers who played roles in solving the cases of two missing children – Ben Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck. He honored members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, the Kirkwood Police Department, the FBI, and the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation – all of which had a part in successfully ending these child kidnapping cases.
At the same Capitol ceremony, the State Highway Patrol presented the Honorary Trooper Certificate to Mitchell Hults, the Franklin County teenager whose detailed description of a white pickup truck near the Ownby kidnapping site led police to suspect Michel Devlin’s residence in Kirkwood.
The certificate is presented to a non-employee who performs in an exemplary manner, and under dangerous conditions, to aid another.
At this same event, Governor Blunt spoke of the dangers of Internet sex predators, praising the Cyber Crimes Grant Program, which is part of Jessica’s Law that protects kids from sexual predators. The 2007 Fiscal Year budget contains $250,000 for the program. An additional $500,000 has been targeted for salaries and equipment in FY 2008.