WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A bill with Connecticut roots – that could help solve more missing person cases – is now headed to President Biden’s desk.
The bill is named after Billy Smolinski, a 31-year-old Waterbury man who went missing back in 2004. His parents William Sr. and Janice Smolinski have worked with local law enforcement to find him, without success.
“Billy’s Law”, will streamline the missing persons reporting process, ensuring that law enforcement databases are more accessible and comprehensive.
The bill was conceived by Smolinski’s parents and was first introduced in the House of Representatives in 2009 by then-Congressman Chris Murphy.
The legislation, designated the Help Find the Missing Act was reintroduced by Sen.
Murphy and passed the senate last week.
“We want to make sure that all of the information that law enforcement has whether it be information about unidentified remains, or whether it be information about a case like a sighting of an individual who bares resemblance to the missing person, that all has to be in one data base so that family members have access,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D) Connecticut said.
Also on today’s virtual press conference were joe and Nicole Petito, the parents of Gabby Petito who was killed by her fiance, Brian Laundrie.
“We are joyful that “Billy’s Law” will help families of the missing now and in the future. Billy’s law is not about us. This legislation will not help find our missing loved one’s remains, but it will make a difference for families all across America,” Janice Smolinski said.
Congresswoman Jahana hayes, who partnered with Sen. Murphy said the bill passed 422 to 4 in the House of Representatives.