HB 2805-S - DIGEST

Declares an intent to build upon the research and findings of the Washington state missing persons task force, assembled by the state attorney general in 2003, the United States department of justice, and others to aid in recovery of missing persons and the identification of human remains.

Requires the Washington association of county officials, in consultation with the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs, the Washington association of coroners and medical examiners, the forensic investigations council, the Washington state patrol, and other interested agencies and individuals, to convene a committee to coordinate the use of the latest technology and available science to improve reporting of missing persons, to improve the communication within the state and with national data bases, to enhance the dissemination of information to other agencies and the public, and to improve reporting for missing persons and the collection and preservation of evidence.

Provides that protocols for the investigation of reported missing persons, identification of human remains, and recommended protocols for the reporting and identification of persons missing as the result of major events not limited to tsunami, earthquake, or acts of terrorism shall be endorsed by the groups named in this act who shall then seek the voluntary adoption of the same by all local law enforcement agencies, coroners, medical examiners, and others charged with locating missing persons or identifying human remains.

Directs the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs to create and maintain a statewide web site, which shall be available to the public. The web site shall post relevant information concerning persons reported missing in the state of Washington.

Requires the Washington state patrol to establish an interface with local law enforcement and the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs missing persons web site, the toll-free twenty-four hour hotline, and national and other statewide missing persons systems or clearinghouses.

Requires local law enforcement agencies to file an official missing persons report and enter biographical information into the state missing persons computerized network within twelve hours after notification of a missing person's report is received under this act.

Provides that biological samples taken for a missing person's investigation under RCW 68.50.320 shall be forwarded as appropriate to the federal bureau of investigation upon receipt of the DNA samples and to the Washington state patrol crime lab as soon as possible. The crime laboratory of the state patrol will provide guidance to agencies regarding where samples should be sent, conduct nuclear DNA testing of the biological sample where appropriate and, in the event additional testing is required, the mitochondrial DNA testing will be conducted through the federal bureau of investigation. Priority for testing shall be given to active criminal cases. If substantial delays in testing occur or federal testing is no longer available, the legislature should provide funding to implement mitochondrial technology in the state of Washington.

Provides that the act shall be null and void if appropriations are not approved.