Earlier this year, 11-year-old Colorado Springs child Gannon Stauch went missing on January 27th, 2020, and the search is still on. He was last seen walking to a friend’s home; after three days without seeing, nor hearing from, him, his case was upgraded to a missing child, as opposed to a runaway case. As the case garners more attention in the community, other concerned parents and adults are taking action in the form of canvassing signatures for a petition.
The petition in question proposes amending a state law that classifies children under 13-years-old who have been missing for several hours to be automatically considered missing, rather than runaways; the advocates for the petition claim that police do not respond as promptly, no with the same energy and effort, to a runaway case as a missing person case. The petition is named Gannon’s Law; there are over 11,000 signatures as the case has been open for four weeks.
Others on the side of law enforcement say the title of the case doesn’t make any difference in the reaction and efforts of law enforcement – at the end of the day, they are concerned that there is a child whose whereabouts are currently unknown. They note that each case is taken seriously and how they respond is based on case-by-case information. Say the parents noted that there was an argument in the home and the child left; more than likely, the child will return shortly after tempers cool down.
Law enforcement officials note that if the law were passed, current repeat runaway children would be classified as missing, which would drain resources from actual missing persons and children cases. As the case and petition develop side by side, Colorado Springs family law attorneys are watching to see how everything unfolds and if laws will change.
If you need the services of a Colorado Springs family law attorney for any reason, including runaway children, or missing persons, contact our offices immediately so that we can assist.