Maureen's letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Billy's Law S.3019

 

Dear Senator,

 

By now you are well aware of the Help Find the Missing Act (Billy's Law) S.3019. I pray my words carry weight with you and the rest of the committee. This is a very hard letter for me to write as I know first hand the major importance of this bill becoming law. I only ask that you read this and when done you back and co-sponsor this extraordinary piece of legislation.

 
You now know that there are over 100,000 missing in our great country and anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 unidentified remains of people all over this country. Sad isn't it that we can't even come up with an accurate  count?  Billy's Law will change that! Those numbers by themselves should get your attention. But have you stopped to think about how many lives are forever changed when a loved one is missing?  Each one of those 100,000 missing have family, friends and coworkers who daily are impacted by the loss of a loved one or friend.  At the very least 1 person missing will severely impact and alter the lives of at least 5 people.  1/2 million plus US citizens get up every morning and go to sleep every night living this nightmare.  A nightmare that can go on for years and decades. If 1/2 million people were suffering from the flu you would sit up and take notice, wouldn't you?  It would be an epidemic.  Well Senator these numbers are an epidemic that no one in this country is immune to.  This can happen to anyone's family, anyone.
 
Do you know how many people are missing in your state?  Do you know where to turn to get those numbers and see those faces?  I've looked at some state sites and can list 20 others or more missing from their state that they don't have listed. The public has no idea how huge the numbers are of the missing.  And, they certainly don't realize how many unidentified remains exist throughout the country, remains of humans that have no names. Remains that their loved ones are searching desperately to find but if the disconnects in the current system continues they have little hope of ever finding them. Do you know how many unidentified remains are in your state? Doesn't it make sense to do all you can do to strengthen NamUs so the data is all housed in one clearinghouse, one repository for both the missing and the unidentified remains?
 
I recently directed a reporter from one of our large cities to NamUs.  This reporter wanted to do a story on young adults missing from her area but was clueless where to look. A seasoned reporter couldn't come up with a list that is how disconnected, fragmented this world of the missing is.
 
For four years I searched for my husband of then 24 years.  Law enforcement gave me no resources, no explanations on how things would proceed.  They didn't explain any procedures, didn't ask for our children's DNA for sample. They didn't even ask for dental records or fingerprint records. They basically threw me to the wolves.  It became quite evident to me quite early on that I would have to conduct my own searches and do my own investigating.  There was no NamUs.gov in place.  So after working 12-14 hour days I would come home and sit on the computer for hours on end  scouring Coroners' and Medical Examiners' and Law Enforcement sites and some pretty shady unprofessional sleuthing sites, looking at dead bodies and reconstructions in the hopes of finding my husband. I scoured news websites and  every time a body was found I would be contacting the reporter and/or law enforcement to get more details.  In those 4 years I searched 1,000's of sites.  I logged over 4,000 hours on the Internet search alone.  No one should ever have to go through what I did.  Once Billy's Law is law it will strengthen NamUs and give the families a tool that will have verified information on it, information all entities can trust. 
 
I mentioned that I went to unprofessional sites well it took me awhile to realize that the owner's and contributors  to these sites never verify the information they throw out for the public to see. Something as simple as a wrong date listed when remains are found can cause great grief and stress for a family member searching for their loved one. We recently in this world of the missing had an incident where an unprofessional so called advocate for the missing showed a UID to the father of a missing son which bore strong resemblance to his son but these remains were found a year before this man's son went missing. Don't you think it would be more humane to support one repository where all the data is verified and searchable by the families instead of having more incidents like this adding more pain to a family member? Don't get me wrong we need tons of awareness sites but we need one site where the families, law enforcement, PI's, media and the public can go to and put in search parameters that are specific to their case and trust the information that is generated from that search...that site is NamUs.gov.
 
Billy's Law will help NamUs to become a household name. And, when a family first realizes their loved one is missing they will know to turn to NamUs, they will know to work with their law enforcement to get accurate and complete information into NamUs and they won't have to spend 4,000 hours on Internet searches.  They won't have to worry that if their loved one's remains are found that they aren't sitting on a shelf or in a pauper's grave nameless.  And, they will know that once their missing loved one is entered into NamUs eyes across the country will be looking for them...awareness doesn't get any better than that.  Lessening the wait time for answers for these families should be everyone's goal.
 
1/2 million loved ones of the missing impacted.  The government has rushed in and helped far less numbers of citizens in times of national disasters, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, fires, etc.  The missing and unidentifieds and the impact on their families and friends is a national disaster. Many of the families of the missing have lost everything searching for their loved one yet the government doesn't rush in to help these victims in one of the most devastating, ongoing traumatizing events that can happen to anyone...having a loved one missing. How wrong is that?  1/2 million US citizens impacted, how devastating is that? And, all they ask for and all they pray for is an answer. Those answers can come through passing Billy's Law.
 
Please stand behind these families and support and co-sponsor and pass the Help Find the Missing Act (Billy's Law) s.3019.
 
Thank you for your time and your service to our country.
 
Maureen Reintjes
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Tags: S.3019

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WOW!!! I can only hope that the Senator who receives this letter will be as moved as I am! What a heartfelt and compelling letter. Thank you Maureen for sharing this. God Bless you and all you are doing to make a difference for families of the missing. I too, see first hand how these families must do most of the investigative work when searching for their loved ones. NamUs IS making a difference now, but imagine what it will be like when ALL agencies are using it! ~Hugs~
Thanks Becky it went to all the Senators on the Jucidicary Committee and to my Senators in Kansas.
Thank you Becky for providing the links, this is helpful. You said it right, God bless you and all you are doing to make make a difference for the families of the missing. It takes a village of people to help make this happen.

Hugs, Love & Hope~Jan
Maureen the letter you wrote and submitted to the two U.S Senators in your state of Kansas and the Judiciary committee members is perfect.

To submit a letter copy and paste what Maureen has written eliminating her personal experience add your own if you like, get to the heart of the Senators. Becky has provided the links below.

Make it as short as possible but to the point Maureen's is an awesome example. Educate the Senators and show there is a need for a centralized working database and the need for them to co sponsor Billy's law.

Any questions just ask, it is simple to get involved, it takes everyone, this is your bill, be a part of history. Our country needs changes and this is a step in the right direction. Families are getting resolution. There is always hope with perserverance.

Thank you Maureen ~Hugs, Love & Hope~ Jan
Although I absolutely LOVE Maureen's letter. It was written from her own experiences and may be difficult to copy and paste and make your own. If want to write your Senators and just don't know what to write, a sample letter has been created that is easier to modify and add your own personal experience:
http://peace4missing.ning.com/forum/topics/sample-letter-to-senator...

Together, we CAN make a difference~
:) xoxoxo
Thank you Maureen... I will share this and I have written a letter as well! My heart and prayers are with you and all others that suffer this horrific nightmare!
Blessings
Brenda
Thanks Brenda for your kind ways and THANK YOU for writing a letter!
Dear Maureen, Truly awesome!!! You must have "Irish" in you like me because you sound a lot like me when I am fired up and write letter to some of these idiots that are supposed to represent us & we vote them in & then they do nothing but ignore what we ask them to help us with!
I also will be putting another letter out to all my State Rep's..they know me so well now because of all my fighting for those who can no longer do it for themselves that my state rep's send me birthday cards..lol
I make sure I open them outside..lol
My hubby worked with the Melbourne police & when he used to have to do security on a State rep ot thier wifes he always told me because of my letters & calles that he was afriad they would see his name tag & arrest him for harrasment!!! Again GREAT letter, Hugssssssssss Sara
Sara,

I thought my Irish was quite tame in this letter.....I had to really hold myself back from writing what I wanted to write.

Birthday cards from the State Reps that you open outside......hysterical but understandable! Too funny.

Thanks for writing your reps and make sure your Senators get the letters too!

Maureen
I sure do...sent u a private e-mail, Hugs Sara

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