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'Holly Bobo Act' would change age range of Endangered Child Alerts

Posted at 8:22 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 23:20:10-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Holly Bobo case gripped the nation. At the time of Bobo's disappearance in 2011, the 20-year-old was too old for either an AMBER Alert or an Endangered Child Alert.

Now, a state lawmaker is introducing a bill that would expand endangered child alerts in Tennessee so they would cover someone as old as Bobo at the time of her disappearance.

Rep. Kirk Haston (R-Lobelville) is sponsoring the legislation, called the "Holly Bobo Act."

Currently, only children under the age of 18 are eligible for the issuance of endangered child alerts in Tennessee, but Haston's bill would include anyone under the age of 21.

Endangered child alerts push critical information to social media and to news outlets when authorities have a concern for a child's safety. They are less urgent than AMBER alerts, issued when authorities believe a child is in imminent risk of injury or death. Haston's law does not change the criteria for AMBER Alerts, which still only apply to children less than 18.

The TBI says they are working on the bill with Haston.