“Kelsey’s Law” Set to Go Into Effect in Missouri

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The state of Missouri is set to become the eighth state to enact “Kelsey’s Law,” which would require cellular carriers to provide police with a customer’s location information in the event of an emergency.

The law is named for metro teen Kelsey Smith, whose body was found four days after she was abducted from an Overland Park Target parking lot in June of 2007. Her body was found in a wooded area near Longview Lake after her cell phone company finally handed over cell phone records to authorities.

Edwin Roy Hall of Olathe was convicted in 2008 of kidnapping, rape and murder in the case, and is now serving a life sentence without the possiblity of parole.

Smith’s parents, Greg and Missie Smith, have been traveling the nation sharing their daughter’s story with state legislatures as they promote the law.

Missouri’s law is set to go into effect this week. The law has been in effect in Kansas since 2009. Nebraska, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Hawaii and Tennessee have the law on the books as well.

Under federal law, cellular carriers were allowed to share location information with law enforcement in the case of emergencies. That sharing becomes mandated under Kelsey’s Law, which also protects cellular carriers from lawsuits stemming from sharing location information in emergency situations.

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