ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — A bill aimed at improving coordination between law enforcement and community groups when a child disappears has passed Maryland’s House and Senate.
The “Phylicia’s Law” bill was named in memory of North Carolina teen Phylicia Barnes, who disappeared in 2010 while visiting Baltimore and was later found dead. It passed both chambers last week.
The bill requires state officials to publish a list of missing children and annual statistics. They may also keep a list of groups of volunteers to help with searches and local law enforcement must try to work with them.
Several laws around the country are named for high-profile missing children, but the Black and Missing Foundation says this bill named for Barnes, who was black, could be the first named for a missing minority child.
Maryland House and Senate heard from missing children advocates in March.
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)