Sen. Blunt backs bill to search for kidnapping victims by pinging phone

Kelsey Smith nationwide push

WASHINGTON (KFVS) - Senator Roy Blunt is introducing a bill with fellow lawmakers that would strengthen law enforcement to quickly acesss cell phone location is a person is abducted and their life threatened.

The Kelsey Smith Act is named for an 18-year-old who was abducted and murdered in 2007.

U.S. Senators Pat Roberts of Kansas and Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas along with Deb Fisher of Nebraska also introduced the bill.

The Kelsey Smith Act would create a uniform law across the country. Missouri became the eighth state to enact the law.

Law enforcement couldn’t find Smith for four days following her abduction due to red tape preventing them to access phone data. After they obtained the data, her body was found within 45 minutes.

“The Smith family endured a horrific tragedy that was made even more agonizing by the delay in finding their daughter, Kelsey,” said Blunt. “The Kelsey Smith Act will give law enforcement a vital tool in their efforts to find and save the lives of kidnapping victims. This bipartisan bill, which takes a narrowly crafted approach to balancing privacy concerns and law enforcement needs, will bring federal law in line with the laws that are already on the books in Missouri and 22 other states. I urge my Senate colleagues to join us in honoring Kelsey by getting this bill to the president’s desk.”
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)

“When someone is missing and you’re fearing for their safety, 10 minutes is an eternity,” said Sgt. Rick Schmidt with the Cape Girardeau Police Department.

He said he and his department use phone pinging a lot to find missing persons and he couldn’t imagine not having here in Missouri.

“If we could get it federally it would help so many departments that don’t have it," said Schmidt.

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