Connecticut Mom Lobbies Congress
By DEBRA BOGSTIE
Updated 11:32 PM EST, Thu, Jan 21, 2010
Janice Smolinski's son Billy disappeared back in August 2004. He's never been found. Now, she's taking her fight to Congress, hoping to reform the way missing persons cases are handled by police.
Smolinski testified before a congressional sub-committee Thursday morning in favor of Billy's Law. "In our search to find our son we encountered a Pandora's Box and when we opened it we unleashed the nightmare plaguing the world of the missing and unidentified dead," said Smolinski during the hearing.
The proposed legislation would secure congressional authorization and funding for the only existing public database that includes both information on missing persons and unidentified remains, said Congressman Chris Murphy, D- 5th District, who is sponsoring the bill. It would also link that database to an FBI database, making more information accessible to families who are searching for loved ones, while also taking steps to protect sensitive information, he said.
"A missing persons report may be entered into one database while a person's remains may be listed in another making it almost impossible for family members to try to connect those missing pieces," said Murphy during the hearing.