Tuesday, April 5, 2016

How We Got Here?

This description was taken from the text of the change.org petition.  It's a pretty good synopsis of how we got here:

On August 11, 2014, there was severe flooding in Michigan.  My dad was driving home from work, and never made it home.  My mom attempted to report him missing, but every local department refused because it hadn't been 24- to 48-hours since my dad had gone missing.  

My dad was found dead in his car the next day.  I believe that the situation may have turned out differently if law enforcement would have started looking for him immediately.  My dad was not found by the police.  He was found by someone living on the street where he ended up.   

Ultimately, I was told that my dad was an otherwise healthy 60-something and didn't merit departmental resources.  This is unconscionable to me.  Who gets to decide who is worth looking for and who is not?  Left to the discretion of local police departments, this same thing will continue to happen to other families.  

This is especially frustrating since:

1)      My mom told authorities that my dad was never 15 minutes late, let alone hours, so this was contrary to his typical behavior


2)      There was this severe storm, which suggested that my dad was in danger

Despite these two things, nothing was done on the part of law enforcement.  While he was eventually entered into the county system, he was not entered into the statewide system, and therefore, nothing was being done to look for him.   

I am asking that Michigan pass a law which specifies that there will be no waiting period to file a missing person's report, and that all persons reported missing will be entered into the state database immediately.

I have been told that stipulating this will put a strain on resources, however, laws such as this exist in California, Florida, Minnesota, and elsewhere.  As the law - written in 1968 - says, people may be entered immediately, but there is no requirement that, that be done. 

I have already written to a variety of people in Michigan state government, and several had pledged to see Neal's Law get passed, but it appears that their commitment has wavered.  I want to make sure that Michigan state government understands how important this is, not just for my family, but for any other Michigan family that has had a loved one go missing.  

I have been told that nothing legislatively can be done, however, I have begun talking to other families in other states who have had relatives go missing, and they firmly believe that what I am doing needs to be done. 

I have stopped and started writing this blog, even deleted the whole thing.  But I am sick of living in a culture of silence.  

The next majority of posts are going to go backward in time to chronicle what has been done so far, and then what is being done in the present, and hopefully the future.

It must be said that all of this is done in memory of my dad, because he deserved so much better, and he wouldn't want any families in the future to go through what we went through.  Neither do we. 

Neal Barry Rott
December 17, 1951 - August 12, 2014

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