DENVER, CO – The House today passed SB22-095, which would improve missing persons investigations, by a vote of 46-17.
“We need to get serious about helping victims and their families get the justice they deserve,” Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez D-Denver. “Improving case filings and communication among departments will cut the red tape associated with missing persons investigations and will fast track the investigation process. For too many, justice and resolution to their cases has taken far too long, especially for Black, Indigenous, and women of color who are missing. This bill will significantly improve missing persons investigations in Colorado.”
“Filing a missing persons report needs to be more streamlined so investigations can begin quicker,” said Rep. Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver. “Too many missing people, especially people of color, are not getting the justice they deserve because their cases are severely underreported and under investigated. Our bill will ensure that departments across the state are communicating with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and accepting reports. Nearly one-third of the missing women and girls in the U.S. are Black. We need to rework the system so we can get justice for these victims.”
SB22-095, sponsored by Representatives Gonzales-Gutierrez and Bacon, would improve missing persons investigations by clarifying when Colorado law enforcement departments must accept a missing persons report.
Under current law, departments are required to accept a report submitted in person if the missing person resides in the agency’s jurisdiction or was last believed to be in the agency’s jurisdiction. The bill expands this requirement to include missing persons who are Colorado residents or were last believed to be in Colorado. It also requires reports to be accepted if they are submitted over the phone or electronically. If the missing person is an adult, the agency must notify the Colorado Bureau of Investigation within eight hours (down from 24 hours), and if the missing person is a child, the agency must notify CBI within 2 hours.