RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The Caylee Anthony case grabbed the nation's attention and provoked strong emotions. Now the 3-year-old's death may lead to a new Virginia law.
The so-called, "Caylee's Law," would make it a felony if a parent or guardian doesn't notify police about a missing child in a certain amount of time. "Caylee's Law" would give a parent just 24 hours after their child goes missing to notify authorities.
The purpose is to prevent and deter something like what happened in the Anthony case in Florida, from happening again. Caylee Anthony was missing for nearly 30 days while her mother, Casey Anthony, was out partying. Even though she was found not guilty, photos of her partying are the basis for new legislation called "Caylee's Law" now being pushed in Virginia.
"One of the most disturbing things that happened with Caylee is, not only the fact that she was murdered, but that there was no timely notifications to law enforcement officials that she was even missing," said Senator Edd Houck.
Senator Houck of Spotsylvania, plans to introduce "Caylee's Law." By phone Monday, he explained why.
"The amount of citizen reaction to what happened in the Florida case is overwhelming," said Senator Houck. "I'm talking e-mails, phone calls, stopping in the street. People are really disturbed by what happened in Florida."
Whether they thought Casey was guilty or not we asked people in Richmond's Carytown District if they were in support of "Caylee's Law." Everyone agreed.
"I don't understand how any mother could not report their child missing after two hours," said parent, Susan Lindeman.
"Within the hour I would be on the phone with at least, you know, my husband," said mother, Sally Ann Smith.
"Caylee's Law" has been enacted or is being considered in at least 32 other states. An online petition in support of the law has over one million signatures. Senator Houck plans to introduce this law at the next General Assembly session in January 2012. Before it becomes a law, they must pass it and then the governor must sign it.