OKLAHOMA CITY – After receiving numerous e-mails and a petition for a law to protect children like Caylee Anthony, state Rep. Paul Wesselhoft said today he plans to introduce legislation during the 2012 legislative session that would require parents or guardians to quickly notify authorities of a missing or dead child.
Wesselhoft said he also monitors Facebook closely and has noticed the anger and frustration of citizens who feel that justice was not served for Caylee.
"Although jurors may have followed the letter of the law, most people I come across believe Caylee Anthony's mother escaped true justice," Wesselhoft said. "It is unconscionable for a parent to delay notifying the authorities of the death of their child. Most parents would immediately notify authorities if their child had gone missing."
"Any delay could endanger the life of the child and, in the case of a child's death, make it that much harder to collect evidence," Wesselhoft added. "I think the actions of Caylee's mother were reprehensible."
Wesselhoft said he is researching the best way to approach a requirement to contact law enforcement upon the death of a child or if a child has gone missing.
"There are currently no statutes addressing these issues," Wesselhoft said. "The intent of my legislation would be to provide a time limit to how long a parent could delay notifying authorities; I would say 24 hours to notify authorities of the death of a child and 48 hours for notification of a missing child under the age of 12.
"Violation of this law would be a maximum misdemeanor or a felony conviction. Oklahomans do not want to experience a situation such as what occurred in the Caylee Anthony case," he added.