Oklahoma Lawmakers Consider 'Jaray Alert' Bill For Missing Teens

Thursday, March 7th 2013, 6:12 pm
By: News 9

Lawmakers consider a new alert system for missing children following 16-year-old Jaray Wilson's disappearance.  

The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved House Bill 2227 or the "Jaray Wilson Runaway Child Alert System Act" with a unanimous vote this week.

The bill is named after Wilson because her case highlighted a potential problem with the system. Investigators suspected Jaray Wilson may have been sold into human trafficking, but an amber alert was never issued. 

11/12/2012 Related Story: Family Of Missing Weatherford Teen Starts Petition For ‘Jaray Alert'

Wilson's parents say her case fell through the cracks because Wilson had run away before. The family called on lawmakers to create a "Jaray Alert"; a system that would not discriminate on age or the child's history.

Rep. Joe Dorman authored the bill that would allow parents to report runaway children to the Department of Public Safety. DPS would then send out a text alert with the child's picture.

"There is no alert system for parents to call in a runaway and that time is so critical in those first few hours," said Dorman.

The Jaray Wilson Act will also allow law enforcement agencies to detain a runaway or missing child until parents arrive. Jara Wilson, Jaray's mother can only wonder if such an alert could have changed the outcome in Jaray's case.

The measure is now on the way to the state senate.