Friday, April 12, 2013

U.S. Rep. Yoder to introduce Kelsey's Law Monday


In 2007, just days before her high school graduation, 18-year-old Kelsey Smith, Overland Park, was kidnapped in daylight from the Target parking lot next to Oak Park Mall, driven 20 miles into Missouri, raped and killed by Edwin Roy “Jack” Hall, then 26, who now is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Four days after Kelsey was reported missing and just hours after police finally were given her cell phone information by Verizon, her body was found.

Since then here parents, Missey and now State Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park, started Kelsey’s Army, a foundation that has been instrumental in not only establishing Kesley‘s Law in the state of Kansas making it easier for law enforcement to acquire cell phone records needed during an investigation of a missing person, but in nine other states as well.

Legislation also has been introduced in nine other states.

And they are wanting Kesley’s Law to be adopted at the federal level.

Twice, Kelsey’s Law has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Lynn Jenkins and former Rep. Todd Tiahrt.

Twice nothing has happened.

Third District Congressman Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, and Kelsey’s parents hope that the third time will result in Kelsey’s Law becoming a federal law mandating that all cell phone carriers provide police with a customer’s location information in an emergency.

Yoder plans to introduce the bill once again Monday, April 15.

Yoder recently told Fox News, “We want to create a national standard to make it very clear and easy for law enforcement and families of victims in the case of an emergency to be able to locate their missing loved one. In Kelsey’s case, they had the information but they weren’t releasing it because they didn’t have clear defined procedures.”

“The hope is that if done right, it could stop a rape, abduction or a murder in progress.”

Missey and Greg have said that although they realize that Kelsey probably already had been killed by the time they contacted law enforcement about her disappearance, and that information received from Verizon would not have saved her life, that information would have brought closure to the situation much more quickly.

“It would not have saved Kelsey’s life,” Missey Smith told Fox News of the law she is advocating, “But it would have saved us four days of agony not knowing where our child was.”