Legislation that would require Missouri’s Amber Alert System Oversight Committee to meet at least annually has been filed again by State Rep. Curtis Trent, R-Springfield.
Trent also sponsored the bill, which is known as “Hailey’s Law”, in 2017 and 2018.
Hailey’s Law is named for 10-year-old Hailey Owens, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in Springfield in February 2014.
“We’ve kind of fallen short of the finish line, the last five yards, the last two years it’s passed out of both houses (Missouri House and Senate), but just not in the same vehicle,” Trent says.
The bill has received wide bipartisan support in both chambers, passing the House in 2017 by a 141-1 vote.
Representative Trent’s bill is aimed at expediting the reporting of child abductions in Missouri. The legislation would require Missouri’s Amber Alert System to be integrated into the Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System, known as MULES.
“So I’m very hopeful that this will be the year that we’re going to finally get that done, and I think it will be very beneficial going forward,” says Trent.
State Sen.-Elect Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, has filed Trent’s bill in the Senate.
50-year-old Craig Wood was convicted of first degree murder in the case and Greene County Circuit Judge Thomas Mountjoy sentenced Wood to death, in January 2018.
Wood is currently incarcerated at the maximum-security Potosi Correctional Center in Mineral Point, awaiting an execution date.
The 2014 Hailey Owens case received massive media coverage in Springfield and statewide. The “Springfield News-Leader” reports that an estimated 10,000 people marched in a candlelight vigil on Springfield’s Commercial Street, three days after the abduction.
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