NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennessee lawmakers are again making a push to require parents report their minor children missing as part of a piece of legislation honoring deceased Sullivan County toddler Evelyn Boswell.
According to the Tennessee General Assembly website, Representative John Crawford (R-Kingsport) filed House Bill 0384, commonly referred to as “Evelyn Boswell’s Law,” for introduction on Friday, January 22.
The proposed legislation was introduced and advanced in the Tennessee House of Representatives at the previous general assembly but stalled.
The bill states that parents of missing children shall report the child as missing to either a law enforcement agency or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation within a reasonable time not exceeding the 24-hour period.
If passed, the law would charge parents who do not meet the requirements with failure to report a missing child, a Class A misdemeanor.
HB 0384 does clarify that parents may defend themselves from prosecution if they have made “reasonably diligent efforts to verify the whereabouts and safety of the minor child during the period.”
Under the proposed “Evelyn Boswell’s Law,” anyone who falsely and knowingly accuses a parent of failing to report a child as missing may be charged with false reports and could be fined.
The law would take effect July 1, 2021 if passed.
Tri-Cities lawmakers first made pushes for the bill after Evelyn Boswell was reported missing and made the subject of an AMBER Alert.
The AMBER Alert was issued on February 19, 2020. Evelyn had last been seen by some family members in November 2019.
You can read the proposed “Evelyn Boswell’s Law” below: