Kelsey Smith Act takes a big step forward at federal level

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Greg Smith hopes to create federal legislation in honor of his murdered daughter, now it's making movement for the first time. The Kelsey Smith Act would force cell phone companies to hand over information to investigators if a missing person is in danger.

Wednesday that legislation was passed out of committee.

"Every morning, there's that quick second I wake up and everything's fine. Then usually the first thought I have after that is Kelsey's not here," Greg said.

A lot of dads aren't very close with their teenage daughters.

Not Greg Smith.

Whether it be in person or on their cell phones, Greg talked to Kelsey every day.

"I remember, shortly after she was killed, I called the pastor who was doing her grave side service. He asked how I was feeling, and I said, 'I just really want to be able to talk to her,'" Greg said.

Even though he can no longer pick up his cell phone and dial her number, he's making sure other parents will have the option to use it as a tool in the event of an emergency.

"This is a huge step," Greg said.

The Kelsey Smith Act has passed out of the House's committee. It's federal legislation that would force cell phone companies to hand over information to help investigators find a missing person in danger.

It's an option Kelsey's parents wish they could've had when she was taken from an Overland Park Target parking lot.

"We called our cell phone operator at the time and they explained to us that they could not do that," Missey Smith said.

Days later, investigators were finally able to get the cell company to locate the phone.

"In about 45 minutes Kelsey's body was found," Missey said.

Minutes.

The same technology that once brought Greg and his daughter so close was the indicator that their two worlds would forever be ripped apart. But Greg and Missey take comfort in knowing it could also be the technology that saves countless lives.

"Every state that has it has given us some sort of story of how it has saved somebody's life."

Some form of the Kelsey Smith Act is law in 15 states. It now goes to the house floor for debate.