NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The governor of Tennessee intends to sign a bill that would charge parents who do not report a child missing with a misdemeanor, according to the governor’s press secretary.
House Bill 384, commonly referred to as “Evelyn Boswell’s Law,” was unanimously passed in the Tennessee House of Representatives on Thursday.
The Tennessee Senate also unanimously approved the bill on Monday.
Casey Black, Press Secretary for the Office of the Governor, told News Channel 11 in an email that Governor Bill Lee “plans to sign this bill once it officially reaches his desk.”
Black said the timing of when the bill will arrive in front of the governor is still being arranged. An update as to when Evelyn Boswell’s Law will be signed is expected next week.
State Representative John Crawford (R-Bristol) and State Senator Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) were the sponsors of the bill.
Evelyn’s Law is named for the deceased Sullivan County toddler, who was reported missing in February 2020. Evelyn Boswell had not been seen by certain family members in months.
Evelyn was found dead in Blountville in March 2020 following an AMBER Alert and massive search effort.
Evelyn’s mother, Megan Boswell, faces multiple charges in her death, including two counts of felony murder. Prosecutors are seeking a punishment of life without parole for Megan Boswell. Her next court date is May 14.
The bill would charge any parent who does not report a minor child missing within a reasonable amount of time or within 24 hours with a Class A misdemeanor.
The legislation defines a minor child as a child age 12 or younger.
Anyone who falsely accuses a parent of failing to report a child as missing could be charged with false reports.
The law would take effect July 1, 2021 once signed by Lee.
You can read the full House bill that was passed on Thursday below:
You can read the full bill below:
For complete coverage of the Evelyn Boswell case, CLICK HERE.