130th Ohio General Assembly
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(126th General Assembly)
(House Bill Number 571)



AN ACT
To amend sections 109.741 and 313.08 and to enact sections 2901.41 and 2901.42 of the Revised Code relative to missing persons in Ohio.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 109.741 and 313.08 be amended and sections 2901.41 and 2901.42 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 109.741.  The attorney general shall adopt, in accordance with Chapter 119. or pursuant to section 109.74 of the Revised Code, rules governing the training of peace officers in the handling of missing children, missing persons, and child abuse and neglect cases. The rules shall specify the amount of that training necessary for the satisfactory completion of basic training programs at approved peace officer training schools, other than the Ohio peace officer training academy and the time within which a peace officer is required to receive that training, if he receives his appointment the peace officer is appointed as a peace officer before receiving that training.

Sec. 313.08.  (A) In counties in which a county morgue is maintained, the coroner shall be the official custodian of the morgue.

In all cases of the finding of the body or remains of a deceased person within a county in which a county morgue is maintained, when the identity of the deceased person is unknown, or the deceased person's relatives or other persons entitled to the custody of the body or remains of the deceased person are unknown or not present, the body or remains shall be removed to the county morgue, where it shall be held for identification and disposal.

(B) The coroner shall make a reasonable attempt to promptly identify the body or remains of a deceased person. The coroner may use any means available in attempting to identify the body or remains.

(C) If the coroner is unable to identify the body or remains of a deceased person within thirty days after the body or remains of the deceased person are delivered to the coroner, the coroner shall notify the bureau of criminal identification and investigation that the body or remains are located in the county morgue or are in the custody of the coroner and forward a DNA specimen from the body or remains of the deceased person to the bureau.

(D) If a body or remains are discovered and delivered to the coroner and the coroner is unable to determine whether or not the body or remains that are discovered are the body or remains of a deceased person, the coroner shall notify the bureau of criminal identification and investigation of the existence of a possible body or remains of a deceased person and forward a DNA specimen from the body or remains to the bureau.

(E) If the body or remains of a deceased person are not identified, in addition to providing the notice required under division (C) of this section, a coroner shall do all of the following prior to disposing of the body or remains:

(1) Take the fingerprints of the body or remains of the deceased person, or cause the same to be taken, according to the fingerprint system of identification on the forms furnished by the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation;

(2) Take or cause to be taken one or more photographs of the body or remains of the deceased person;

(3) Collect in a medically approved manner a DNA specimen from the body or remains of the deceased person;

(4) Promptly cause the fingerprints, the photographs, and the DNA specimen to be forwarded to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation for inclusion in the unidentified person database in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent of the bureau under division (H) of section 109.573 of the Revised Code. The bureau shall provide the fingerprint forms, specimen vials, mailing tubes, labels, postage, and instruction needed for the collection and forwarding to the bureau of the fingerprints and the DNA specimen and for the forwarding to the bureau of the photographs.

(C)(F) The bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall cause the fingerprints, the photographs, and the DNA specimen forwarded by the coroner to the bureau pursuant to division (E)(4) of this section to be forwarded to the national crime information center and the national DNA index system within ten days after the bureau completes the DNA analysis of the forwarded DNA specimen.

(G) The bureau shall provide the fingerprint forms, specimen vials, mailing tubes, labels, postage, and instruction needed for the collection and forwarding to the bureau pursuant to division (E)(4) of this section of the fingerprints and the DNA specimen and for the forwarding pursuant to division (E)(4) of this section to the bureau of the photographs.

(H) Upon the request of a coroner who has the duty to take, or cause the taking of, fingerprints and photographs under divisions (B)(E)(1) and (2) of this section, the bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall take, or assist in the taking of, the required fingerprints and photographs.

(D)(I) As used in this section, "DNA analysis," "DNA specimen," and "unidentified person database" have the same meanings as in section 109.573 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 2901.41.  (A) As used in this section and section 2901.42 of the Revised Code, "missing person" means an individual who is eighteen years of age or older, whose temporary or permanent residence is in Ohio, and who meets one of the following characteristics:

(1) The individual has a physical or mental disability.

(2) The individual is missing under circumstances indicating that the individual's safety may be in danger.

(3) The individual is missing under circumstances indicating that the individual's disappearance was not voluntary.

(B) The attorney general shall publish and distribute to all law enforcement agencies in this state a best practices protocol for addressing reports of missing persons. Upon receipt of the best practices protocol from the attorney general, each law enforcement agency in this state shall develop and adopt a written policy establishing reasonable procedures to be followed by the law enforcement agency when the agency is informed that a person is or may be a missing person.

(C) After a law enforcement agency adopts a written policy as required by division (B) of this section, the peace officers that are employed by that agency shall make a good faith effort to follow the procedures contained in the policy.

(D) The requirements of this section do not create a private cause of action for damages against the state or any law enforcement agency, political subdivision, peace officer, or other person who fails to comply with the requirements of this section.

Sec. 2901.42.  (A) If a law enforcement agency receives a report that a person is missing and if there is evidence that the person was a victim of foul play at the time the victim is reported missing, the law enforcement agency shall make available through the law enforcement automated data system all information contained in the report not later than seven days after the law enforcement agency receives the report. If there is no evidence that the person was a victim of foul play, the law enforcement agency shall make the information available in the law enforcement automated data system not later than thirty days after receiving the report that the person is missing.

(B) If a law enforcement agency receives a report that a person is missing and there is no evidence of foul play at the time the agency receives the report and if the agency discovers after the law enforcement agency receives the report but before the end of the seven-day period under division (A) of this section evidence that the person who is missing was a victim of foul play, the law enforcement agency shall make available through the law enforcement automated data system all information contained in the report by the end of that seven-day period. If a law enforcement agency receives a report that a person is missing and there is no evidence of foul play at the time the agency receives the report and if the agency discovers after the end of the seven-day period under division (A) of this section evidence that the person who is missing was a victim of foul play, the law enforcement agency shall make available through the law enforcement automated data system all information contained in the report not later than forty-eight hours after discovering the evidence that the person was a victim of foul play.

(C) If a law enforcement agency pursuant to divisions (A) and (B) of this section made available through the law enforcement automated data system information contained in a report that a person is missing and the missing person is found, the agency shall promptly remove that information from the law enforcement automated data system.

(D) As used in this section, indicators that a person was a victim of "foul play" include, but are not limited to, evidence that the person's home or car is in disarray, evidence of a struggle between the person and another person, or evidence a law enforcement agency determines to be foul play through the written policy the law enforcement agency develops and adopts pursuant to division (B) of section 2901.41 of the Revised Code.

SECTION 2.  That existing sections 109.741 and 313.08 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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