Billy\'s Law Addressed at Missing Person\'s Awareness Day

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JEFFERSON CITY - A ceremony was held at the State Capitol Saturday in honor of the 7th annual Missouri's Missing and Unidentified Person's Awareness Day.

Gov. Jay Nixon recognized June 17 as Missouri's Missing and Unidentified Person's Awareness Day. Non-profit organization Missouri Missing hosted Saturday's event. Co-founder of Missouri Missing Marianne Asher-Chapman said the event was scheduled for the weekend so more people could attend.

Dozens of people attended the event which began at 11 a.m. on the south lawn of the state Capitol building. Family members of people missing from the Midwest spoke about their experiences with law enforcement while searching for their missing loved ones. Asher-Chapman said law enforcement has not been helpful in most cases.

"They don't have the training," Asher-Chapman said. "Sometimes they don't really care, but most of the time, they just don't even know."

Many of the speakers at Saturday's event spoke about their support for NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. They also spoke about their support for the Help Find the Missing Act or Billy's Law. The bill would facilitate data sharing between NamUs and the National Crime Information Center database of the FBI.

"The bottom line is with Namus in place, which we could utilize with Billy's Law, that's how my daughter's going to be found," Asher-Chapman said.

Billy's Law may soon be reintroduced in Congress.

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