• Lawmakers Look To Pass Caylee's Law In NC

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    CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - Some state lawmakers are meeting this week to try and change legislative policy so they can pass Caylee's Law in North Carolina as soon as possible.

    The law is named for Caylee Anthony, the child who was went missing in Orlando, Fla., in 2008. During the trial in which her mother Casey was accused of murder, it was revealed by prosecutors that the girl had been missing 31 days before she was reported missing by her mother and grandmother.

    Lawmakers said state law doesn't specify when parents must report a missing child to police and one legislator said that needs to change. Rep. Kelly Hastings said he's received more emails over Caylee's Law than any other issue.

    "It's been overwhelming, really. It's probably been 400 to 500 emails," Hastings, R-Gaston County, said.

    Caylee's Law would likely make it a felony if parents don't report a child's death within one hour or a child missing within 24 hours.

    Residents tell Hastings that the Zahra Baker tragedy is just another reason why they want it to become law. The 10-year-old's dismembered remains were found at two locations in Caldwell County.

    "When a child is involved, it tugs at the emotions, it pulls at the heartstrings, and it makes us want to act," Hastings said.

    New bills aren't normally introduced in the summer months, but Hastings said he's meeting with the rules committee chairman this week to see if it's possible to do it when legislators meet in a few weeks to debate constitutional amendments.

    "With the proper amount of votes, we can always amend the rules. Not sure if that'll happen, but that's something we'll discuss this upcoming week," he said.

    Caylee's Law, though, might not have even applied in Zahra's case. When her father Adam Baker reported her missing, he told dispatchers he saw her 12 hours before.

    "So no one has seen your daughter since 2:30 this morning?" the 911 dispatcher asked Baker in early October.

    "No, like I said we had all that drama last night and me and my wife went back to bed," Baker replied.

    Eyewitness News asked Hastings if it'd be easy for parents to skirt the law by lying.

    "Anytime we implement public policy, we hope that it's more than symbolic. We hope that it sends a signal to the general public, that we're serious about this, and that this carries a significant penalty."

    Hastings said if the rules are somehow changed to allow Caylee's Law to be introduced during the Constitutional Amendment Session; it still wouldn't happen until the end of the summer.

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