Parents who've been through the worst pain imaginable join forces to protect children. Families who made national news after their child was kidnapped or murdered have created the Surviving Parents Coalition. These parents are members of a close-knit group that no parent ever wants to belong to. They have lost children to kidnappers, sexual predators and murderers all over the U.S., including Oklahoma. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports they will be featured in â€œPeopleâ€ magazine next week.
The names are familiar, Mark Lunsford, whose daughter Jessica was kidnapped from her Florida home. Her body was found three weeks later. Ed Smart, his 15-year-old daughter Elizabeth was kidnapped from their Utah home. She was found alive, but sexually abused, nine months later. Marc Klass, whose daughter Polly was kidnapped at age 12 from their home and murdered. Colleen Nick, her daughter Morgan was kidnapped from a ballgame in Alma, Arkansas and has never been found. Erin Runnion, the mother of Samantha who was kidnapped from home and found murdered, 70 miles away the next day. Magi and John Blish, parents of 16-year-old Molly who was kidnapped from her job as a lifeguard, her remains weren't found for three years. Linda Walker, whose daughter Dru Sjodin was kidnapped from a mall parking lot in North Dakota and found murdered five months later. Mika Moulton, the mother of Christopher Meyer, he was kidnapped when he was 10 and found buried in a shallow grave. Mary Kozakiewicz, mother of 13-year-old Alicia who disappeared from their Pennsylvania home. She was found alive, chained inside an online sexual predator's home. And Oklahoman Rebecca DeMauro, whose daughter Andi Brewer was also a victim.
]"Nobody thinks it'll happen to them. Eight years ago I couldn't have believed I'd have a child kidnapped and murdered," said Andiâ€™s mother Rebecca DeMauro.
These parents have individually created foundations to educate citizens and lobby for tougher laws. Now, they realize it will be more effective to do it as a group.
"If we can just make this a safer place for them to grow up, not see Internet porn, God forbid, be kidnapped, we want that to stop," DeMauro said.
These parents go to Washington DC on Monday to meet with members of Congress. They are pushing two bills next term, one, the TRAC ACT, tracks the actions of judges, prosecutors and police regarding crimes against children, the other, the War on Child Predators Act, gives better funding to fight child pornography.TRAC ACT: Track and Report Abuse of Children
This law is a full-disclosure bill that will require states to track and publicly report the practices of judges, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies regarding crimes against children. For example, the number of plea-bargains, sentence lengths, and verified locations of sex-offenders.
War on Child Predators Act â€“ Child Pornography and the Internet Crimes Against Children
Funding and accountability measures for law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies empowered to investigate and prosecute crimes against children. This law will focus on child pornography, but the funds used for forensic labs, investigators and U.S. Attorneys all dedicated to crimes against children will significantly improve the number of perpetrators apprehended and the number of children rescued from sexual abuse and exploitation.
Watch the video: Protecting Children From Criminals