DeLuca looks to amend state’s Amber Alert Law, introduces H.B. 2295
Bill is in response to death of 2-year-old Nalani Johnson in August 2019
HARRISBURG, Feb. 19 – On Aug. 31, 2019, 2-year-old Nalani Johnson was abducted, killed and her body dumped in a park, roughly an hour away from where she was kidnapped in Penn Hills.
Her father immediately reported the abduction, identified the kidnapper to police, and provided the make, model and direction the vehicle was traveling. However, an Amber Alert wasn’t immediately issued due to strict guidelines police must follow prior to issuing the notice.
The alert eventually was issued hours later. Unfortunately, the “rules” cost the 2-year-old her life.
State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, is working to ensure this mistake isn’t made twice.
“When news broke of little Nalani’s abduction from my district my heart broke. As a parent, grandparent and great-grandparent, I can’t even imagine how torturous this was for her family,” DeLuca said. “This fall I personally met with Nalani’s family and pledged to do whatever I could to help prevent this tragedy from ever striking another innocent family. I also have been working with their attorney, Eric Chaffin, to draft this legislation that I hope will move quickly to possibly save lives.”
True to his word, DeLuca has introduced H.B. 2295, a measure that would amend the Pennsylvania Amber Alert Law, requiring the Missing Endangered Person Advisory System to be activated immediately after a parent or family member reports that their child has been abducted.
Also known as the “Nalani Johnson Rule,” DeLuca hopes this measure, if enacted into law, will help alert the public sooner to an abduction, subsequently leading to a quicker arrest of the kidnapper, which ultimately could increase the likelihood of saving the child’s life.
House Bill 2295 is expected to be considered in the House chamber in the near future.