Missing Persons; Identification
Improves the capacity of law enforcement agencies to locate and return missing persons by adopting new procedures and by using technology and databases.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2007
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to missing persons.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State needs to incorporate and adopt rapid advances in technology and national databases to share information statewide to solve missing person crimes. This Act authorizes law enforcement agencies to use sophisticated technology and databases to solve missing persons and other cases. In addition, this Act protects our children and improves the State of Hawaii's existing procedures to locate missing persons.
The purpose of this Act is to improve the ability of law enforcement agencies to locate and return missing persons by establishing new procedures for missing persons cases.
SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
missing persons protection and identification
PART I. MISSING PERSONS; PROTECTION AND IDENTIFICATION
§ -1 Short title. This chapter may be cited as the "Missing Persons Protection and Identification Act of 2006".
§ -2 Definitions. As used in this chapter:
"Abduction" means a case in which a child or a person with disability is reported to be involuntarily missing from the caregiver and there is an eyewitness who can provide a physical description of the abductor, the vehicle involved if applicable, and the direction of travel. If an eyewitness is lacking, there exists credible evidence that the disappearance was involuntary.
"Child" means a person under the age of eighteen years.
"Child abduction alert system" means the system developed by law enforcement agencies to assist in the recovery of an abducted child and in the capture of the abductor.
"Code Adam alert" means a set of procedures used in buildings to alert employees and other users of the building that a child is missing.
"DNA" means deoxyribonucleic acid.
"Familial relationship" means a relationship that establishes two individuals as members of a family.
"Family member" means:
(1) A person related by blood, legal custody, or marriage;
(2) A child who lives with an adult and for whom the adult permanently assumes and discharges parental responsibility; or
(3) A person with whom the individual shares or has shared, within the last year, a mutual residence.
"High-risk missing person" means an individual whose whereabouts are not currently known and where circumstances indicate that the individual may be at risk of injury or death.
"Law enforcement agency" means any county police department, the department of the attorney general, the department of public safety, or any other governmental agency that has the authority to investigate and make arrests for criminal or delinquency offenses, including any state or county agency that employs law enforcement officers; provided that, for purposes of this chapter, the department of the prosecuting attorney for each of the respective counties shall not be deemed a law enforcement agency.
"Missing person" means a person whose whereabouts, safety, and welfare are unknown.
"Person with a disability" means a person with a physical or mental disability.
§ -3 Missing person report. (a) All law enforcement agencies within the State shall accept without delay any report of a missing person or persons. No law enforcement agency may refuse to accept a missing person report on the basis that:
(1) The missing person is an adult;
(2) The circumstances do not indicate foul play;
(3) The person has been missing for a short period of time;
(4) The person has been missing for a long period of time;
(5) There is no indication that the missing person was in the State at the time of the disappearance;
(6) The circumstances suggest that the disappearance may be voluntary;
(7) The person or persons making the report do not have personal knowledge of the facts;
(8) The reporting individual cannot provide all of the information requested by the law enforcement agency; or
(9) The reporting person lacks a familial or other relationship with the missing person.
(b) All law enforcement agencies shall accept missing person reports made in person. An initial report may be made by phone or by electronic or other media but the law enforcement agency may require confirmation in person.
(c) In accepting a missing person report, a law enforcement agency shall gather relevant information relating to the missing person, including but not limited to the following:
(1) The name of the missing person, including alternative names used;
(2) The date of birth;
(3) Identifying marks, such as birthmarks, moles, tattoos, and scars;
(4) Height and weight;
(7) Current hair color and true or natural hair color;
(8) Eye color;
(9) Prosthetics, surgical implants, or cosmetic implants;
(10) Physical anomalies;
(11) Blood type;
(12) Driver license number;
(13) Social security number;
(14) A photograph or photographs of the missing person, with the approximate date the photograph was taken;
(15) A description of the clothing the missing person was believed to be wearing;
(16) A description of items that might be with the missing person, such as jewelry, accessories, shoes, or boots;
(17) Information on the missing person's electronic communication devices such as cell phone numbers and email addresses;
(18) The reasons why the reporting person believes that the person is missing;
(19) Name and location of the missing person's school or employer;
(20) Name and location of the missing person's dentist and primary care physician;
(21) Circumstances that may indicate that the disappearance was not voluntary;
(22) Circumstances that may indicate that the missing person may be at risk of injury or death;
(23) A description of the possible means of transportation of the missing person, including make, model, color, license, and vehicle identification number of a vehicle;
(24) Identifying information about a known or possible abductor, and about any person or persons last seen with the missing person including:
(B) Physical description;
(C) Date of birth;
(D) Identifying marks;
(E) A description of possible means of transportation, including the make, model, color, license, and vehicle identification number of a vehicle; and
(F) Known associates;
(25) Other information that can aid in locating the missing person; and
(26) Date of last contact with the missing person.
§ -4 Notification and follow-up action. (a) The law enforcement agency shall provide a person making a missing person report, a family member of the missing person, or other person in a position to help the law enforcement agency locate the missing person, with general information about the handling of the missing person case or about intended efforts in the case, provided that the law enforcement agency determines that disclosure would not adversely affect its ability to locate or protect the missing person, or to apprehend or prosecute any person criminally involved in the disappearance.
(b) The law enforcement agency shall advise the person making the report, the family member of the missing person, or other person in a position to help locate the missing person to promptly contact the law enforcement agency to provide additional information and materials that will aid in locating the missing person. The law enforcement agency shall also notify the person of the specific information or materials needed, such as credit or debit cards and other banking information, and records of cell phone use.
(c) The law enforcement agency shall notify the person making a missing person report that the agency may seek DNA samples from family members of the missing person and that any DNA samples provided for the missing person case are provided on a voluntary basis and will be used solely to help locate or identify the missing person.
(d) The law enforcement agency is encouraged to make available informational materials, such as publications or electronic or other media, that advise the public about how the information or materials identified in this section are used to help locate or identify missing persons.
(e) If a person identified in a missing person report remains missing after thirty days, and the additional information and materials specified below have not already been received, the law enforcement agency shall attempt to obtain:
(1) DNA samples from family members and from the missing person along with any needed documentation, including consent forms, required for the use of local, state, or national DNA databases including the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National DNA Index System ("NDIS");
(2) Dental information and x-rays and an authorization to release dental or skeletal x-rays of the missing person;
(3) Additional photographs of the missing person that may aid the investigation or identification; and
(f) The law enforcement agency shall not be required to obtain written authorization before it releases publicly any photograph that would aid in the investigation or identification of the missing person.
(g) All DNA samples obtained in missing person cases determined to involve high-risk missing persons pursuant to section -5 shall be immediately forwarded to the appropriate county police department's forensic sciences division for analysis, processing, and recording in the missing persons database of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National DNA Index System.
(h) Information relevant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's violent criminal apprehension program shall be forwarded to the county police department for entry into the violent criminal apprehension program database as soon as possible.
(i) Subsection (e) shall not preclude a law enforcement agency from attempting to obtain the materials identified in this section before the expiration of the thirty-day period.
§ -5 High-risk missing persons. (a) For the purpose of taking action pursuant to this section, a law enforcement agency shall consider, but shall not be limited to, the following criteria in determining whether an individual is a high-risk missing person:
(1) The person is missing as a result of an abduction by a stranger;
(2) The person is missing under suspicious circumstances;
(3) The person is missing under unknown circumstances;
(4) The person is missing under known dangerous circumstances;
(5) The person is missing more than thirty days;
(6) The person has already been designated as a high-risk missing person by another law enforcement agency;
(7) There is evidence that the person is at risk because:
(A) The missing person is in need of medical attention or prescription medication;
(B) The missing person does not have a pattern of running away or disappearing;
(C) The missing person may have been abducted by a non-custodial parent;
(D) The missing person is a person with a disability;
(E) The missing person is under the age of eighteen;
(F) The missing person has been the subject of past threats or acts of violence; or
(8) Any other factor that, in the judgment of the law enforcement agency, may determine that the missing person is at risk.
(b) Upon receiving a missing person report, a law enforcement agency shall immediately determine whether there is a basis to determine that the missing person is a high-risk missing person. If a law enforcement agency has previously determined that a missing person is not a high-risk missing person, but obtains new information, it shall immediately determine whether the new information indicates that the missing person is a high-risk missing person.
(c) Risk assessments required by this section shall be performed no later than twelve hours after the initial missing person report is filed or the new information is provided to the law enforcement agency.
(d) Law enforcement agencies shall establish written protocols for the handling of missing person cases to accomplish the purpose of this chapter.
(e) When a law enforcement agency determines that a missing person is a high-risk missing person, it shall notify the county police departments. The law enforcement agency shall immediately provide to the county police departments the information most likely to aid in the location and safe return of the high-risk missing person, and shall provide as soon as practicable all other information obtained relating to the case.
(f) The county police departments shall promptly notify all law enforcement agencies within the State of the information that will aid in the prompt location and safe return of the high-risk missing person.
(g) The law enforcement agencies that receive the notification from any county police department shall notify officers to issue lookouts for the missing person or a suspected abductor.
(h) The county police departments shall immediately enter all collected information relating to the missing person case in available local, state, federal, and national databases. The information shall conform with applicable guidelines relating to the databases, and shall be entered as follows:
(1) A missing person report in a high-risk missing person case as well as relevant information provided in the report shall be entered in the National Crime Information Center database within no more than two hours of the determination that the missing person is a high-risk missing person. All other missing person reports, as well as relevant information provided in the report, shall be entered into the National Crime Information Center database within twenty-four hours after the missing person report is received. Supplemental information in high-risk missing person cases should be entered as soon as practicable.
(2) All DNA samples shall be immediately forwarded to the appropriate county police department's forensic sciences division for analysis, processing, and recording in the missing persons database of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National DNA Index System.
(3) Information relevant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's violent criminal apprehension program shall be forwarded to the county police departments for entry into the violent criminal apprehension program database as soon as possible.
(i) The county police departments shall ensure that a person entering data relating to medical or dental records into criminal justice databases is specifically trained to enter the information into these databases. The county police departments are strongly encouraged either to use persons with specific expertise in medical or dental records for this purpose or consult with the chief medical examiner of the city and county of Honolulu to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information entered into the databases.
(j) Pursuant to any applicable state criteria, law enforcement agencies should also provide for the prompt use of a Maile Amber alert or public dissemination of photographs in appropriate high-risk cases.
§ -6 Reporting of unidentified persons and human remains. (a) The county medical examiner or coroner shall provide information to law enforcement agencies about best practices for handling death scene investigations and shall identify and disseminate any publications or training opportunities that may be available to law enforcement agencies or law enforcement officers concerning the handling of death scene investigations.
(b) After performing any death scene investigation deemed appropriate under the circumstances, the official with custody of the human remains shall ensure that the human remains are delivered to the county medical examiner or coroner.
(c) Any person with custody of human remains that are not identified within twenty-four hours of discovery shall promptly notify the office of the county medical examiner or coroner of the location of those remains.
(d) If the person with custody of remains cannot determine whether or not the remains found are human, it shall notify the county medical examiner or coroner of the existence of possible human remains.
§ -7 Responsibilities for the identification of unidentified persons or human remains. (a) If the official with custody of the human remains is not a medical examiner or coroner, the official shall promptly transfer the unidentified remains to the medical examiner or coroner to determine the identity of the human remains.
(b) Notwithstanding any other action deemed appropriate for the handling of the human remains, the county medical examiner or coroner shall make reasonable attempts to identify promptly any human remains. These actions may include but are not limited to obtaining:
(1) Photographs of the human remains;
(2) Dental or skeletal x-rays;
(3) Photographs of items found with the human remains;
(4) Fingerprints from the remains;
(5) Tissue samples suitable for DNA typing;
(6) Samples of whole bone or hair suitable for DNA typing; and
(7) Any other information that may support identification efforts.
(c) No person shall dispose of unidentified human remains, or engage in any action that will materially affect the unidentified human remains before the county medical examiner or coroner obtains samples suitable for DNA identification and archiving, takes photographs of the unidentified person or human remains, and completes all other appropriate steps for identification.
(d) Cremation of unidentified human remains is prohibited, except as provided in sections 346-15 and 841-16.
(e) The county medical examiner or coroner shall make reasonable efforts to obtain prompt DNA analysis of biological samples, if the human remains have not been identified by other means within thirty days.
(f) The county medical examiner or coroner shall seek support from appropriate federal agencies for human remains identification efforts. Such support may include but is not limited to available mitochondrial or nuclear DNA testing, federal grants for DNA testing, or federal grants for crime laboratory improvements or improvements to the medical examiner or coroner's facilities.
(g) The county medical examiner or coroner shall promptly forward to the county police department any information that can aid in the identification of missing persons. The police department shall provide the staff of the chief medical examiner or coroner of the same county with training about the data needed by the police department and the formats in which the data shall be recorded.
(h) Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to preclude the county medical examiner or coroner or any county police department from pursuing other efforts to identify unidentified human remains, including efforts to publicize information, descriptions, or photographs that may aid in the identification of the unidentified remains, allow family members to identify a missing person, or seek to protect the dignity of the missing person.
PART II. MANDATORY REPORT OF CERTAIN VIOLENT CRIMES
§ -21 Reporting of certain crimes to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The county police departments shall be responsible for fostering and coordinating the State's participation in the violent criminal apprehension program administered by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. Each chief of police shall compile, in a format compatible with the national violent criminal apprehension program database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and regularly transmit to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for inclusion in the violent criminal apprehension program database, information regarding:
(1) Solved or unsolved homicides or homicide attempts;
(2) Missing persons, as defined in section ‑2;
(3) Unidentified dead bodies, where the manner of death is known or suspected to be homicide;
(4) Sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults; and
(5) Crimes committed by sex offenders required to register in the State pursuant to state or federal sex offender registration requirements."
SECTION 3. Section 346-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (f) to read as follows:
"(f) All unclaimed corpses shall be
.]; provided that samples suitable for DNA identification
and archiving have been taken pursuant to section ‑7.
The department of human services shall authorize the cremation of unclaimed
SECTION 4. Section 841-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§841-16 Disposal of decomposed
remains. The coroner's physician may order forthwith the cremation of the
remains of any person appearing to have come to death under any of the
circumstances set forth in section 841-3 if, in the coroner's physician's
opinion, the remains constitute an immediate menace to the public health. The
cremation shall be supervised by the coroner and shall take place only after a
reasonable amount of investigation has taken place in an effort to establish
the identity of the remains and the cause of death[
.]; provided that
samples suitable for DNA identification and archiving have been taken pursuant
to section ‑7. Such cremation shall take place
after a burial-transit permit authorizing cremation has been secured from the
local agent of the department of health."
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.