Colo. legislature OKs changes to missing person investigations

For every high profile missing person’s case, there are more that go unnoticed.

DENVER — The Colorado legislature passed legislation Wednesday that aims to improve missing persons investigations, especially those involving women from marginalized groups.

If enacted, Senate Bill 95 would shorten the timeframe before a person can be reported missing from 24 hours to two hours for minors and eight hours for adults. The bill would also require state law enforcement to collect and report data and trends regarding missing women and girls from marginalized groups, including people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals and older adults.

“Too many missing people, especially people of color, are not getting the justice they deserve because their cases are severely underreported and under investigated,” said bill sponsor Rep. Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver. “We need to rework the system so we can get justice for these victims.”

Nationally, women of color are disproportionately victims of crimes, such as homicide and domestic violence. In 2020, one-third of the nearly 300,000 girls and women reported missing in the U.S. were Black, according to the National Crime Information Center.

The state House of Representatives passed the bill in a 46-17 vote Wednesday. The Senate approved the measure, 33-1, earlier this month. All legislators who voted against the bill are Republican, with some raising issue that the bill doesn’t lower the 24-hour time limit for state facilities to report children missing under their care.

>9NEWS readers can view the full story at Colorado Politics.

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