missing children

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A conference near Lansing today is helping families search for their missing loved ones.

A Michigan State Police spokesman admits it’s not clear how many people are missing in Michigan.  The law doesn’t require all disappearances to be reported.  

So many families find themselves alone in their search.

MSP Lieutenant Mike Shaw says he can’t imagine what the families go through.

State lawmakers will discuss legislation tomorrow inspired by the disappearance and death of a Florida toddler.

Two year old Caylee Anthony was missing for a month before her mother informed the police. The mother, Casey Anthony, was later acquitted of the child’s 2008 murder, though she was convicted of providing police with false information. 

State Representative Tom Hooker says his bill would require parents or guardians to report missing children to law enforcement agencies after 24 hours.  If they don’t, they could face up to four years in prison.

Lindsey Smith/Michigan Radio

A group of former classmates is using art to try to solve one of Michigan’s most high profile missing person cases.

February 5th 1981 14-year-old Deanie Peters and her mom were watching a wrestling match. It was at a middle school in a suburb outside of Grand Rapids.

Peters told her mom she had to use the restroom before they headed home. 'I’ll be right back,' she said.

But Peters never returned.

Thirty-one years later police still haven’t made an arrest or found her body. Deanie’s little brother Will Peters was six-years-old when she disappeared.

YouTube / indianapublicmedia.org

The Super Bowl this weekend in Indianapolis will attract thousands of football fans and people who like a big party.

It will also lure human traffickers who set up in hotels so paying clients can have sex - sometimes with children.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates 100,000 kids in this country between the ages of 12 and 14 are drawn into a life of prostitution every year.

There is an outreach effort trying to connect with teens trapped in that life.

Project SOAP is in Indianapolis this weekend.

It conducted a similar operation before the North American International Auto Show last month in Detroit.

Michigan Senate passes missing children bill

Oct 25, 2011

A proposal that would require parents to report missing children immediately to authorities was approved by the state Senate today.

The bill was named “Caylee’s Law” by supporters, in response to the controversial Casey Anthony case in Florida.

The child’s mother waited 31 days before reporting her daughter missing.

State Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) says he was surprised to learn Michigan does not have an early-reporting law in place for missing children.

“I think it’s very important that parents report their children missing in a timely fashion. The outrageous case that drew this to our attention was the one of little Caylee, that the mother didn’t report her missing for over 30 days."

Jones added:

“As a former sheriff of Eaton County and 31 years of law enforcement, I don’t believe there is any reason for a parent to delay reporting their child missing.”

Under the bill, parents or caretakers would have 24 hours to report missing children under the age of 13 or could face up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The bill has been sent to the state House.