House rejects bill that would make failure to report missing child a crime

Posted March 13, 2012, at 12:06 p.m.
Caylee Anthony's mother, Casey, didn't report the girl missing for several weeks.
Orange County Sheriff's Office | AP
Caylee Anthony's mother, Casey, didn't report the girl missing for several weeks.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill requiring notification of authorities when a child is missing, prompted by the Caylee Anthony case in Florida, has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Maine House.

Representatives voted 110-31 on Tuesday to kill a bill making it a crime to fail to report a missing child under 13 years of age or to fail to cooperate in the investigation of the death of a child.

The bill was prompted by the acquittal of Casey Anthony of murder in Florida in the case of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony. Maine lawmakers received hundreds of emails demanding a law addressing nonreporting on a missing child.

But opponents said that while the bill may have a feel-good effect, it poses serious constitutional problems. They said it violates the constitutional protection against self-incrimination.

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