Friday, January 27, 2006

1/27/06 A Meeting in Indiana

This is a followup to yesterday's post about Keri Dattilo meeting with several Indiana senators about the model legislation we are trying to pass in every state in our Campaign for the Missing. What you see below is an edited version of her report. Things are looking good for families of the missing in Indiana, thanks to Keri her cousin, Nina, and many others. It is a joy to see this team coming together and action in several states. Next week, it's on to California!

"This morning, Megan, her Aunt Jill, and myself met with 5 senators from Indiana. Senator Sipes said that she "had hoped more would attend", but they must have been busy passing other bills! I had prepared an introduction and used the model to point out case specifics of Molly's investigation, thus far. (thank you Kelly for the talk last night because it helped me prepare and focus, tremendously. also, thank you to Robert and Susan for your well wishes.) Megan and Jill added imput that was of great value too.

We were received very well. They were very attentative and asked many questions, both about the model and Molly's case. We were in the meeting for over an hour and if they didn't have to attend other meetings, I think they would have stayed longer, judging by their questions and considerations.

We have their attention. They are interested in passing this bill. They said that we are late in the game right now, but Senator Sipes is going to talk to the chair for their committee. She is hoping that he can somehow get this put into the laws this year. If not, she wants to do a study committee this summer. If it is not possible to get it done this year, then 2007 should be the year. She did mention that it is a budget year and there will be more money available. She has encouraged us to check in with her soon. ..soon meaning, next week.

We focused mainly on the "high risk missing persons" just because Molly falls under that category and there were so many examples that I was able to use, stating that if these laws were implemented at the time of Molly's disappearance that we may be closer to finding her, or may have possibly found her already.

They were very interested in wanting to get the police to give families of the missing resources once they have placed a missing persons report. That was a huge conversation, as well as obtaining DNA in a quick fashion. I mentioned that had the sheriff's dept. had Molly's DNA at the time a body was found, we may have not had to have been contacted to get Molly's dental records and then left to wait 3 weeks to wonder if it was her or not. They could have had the records, check to see if it was a match, and then been given an answer in a reasonable amount of time.

The main items that were stressed to them is that things need to be done correctly and methodically, in order to save time, evidence, unneeded hardship, and money.

One of the senators who is the senator for Molly's hometown of Madison, did say, "There is nothing in this legislation that penalizes" law enforcement for not following through.

I feel pretty good about the whole meeting. it was truely a great experience. I said to megan when we were driving home that I was much too nervous last night. Speaking at the meeting was much easier than I thought. (It must have been due to all the great support from everyone and God)"

Amen to that, Keri.


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