In 1998, Suzanne Lyall, a student of the State University of New York at Albany disappeared and was never to be seen again. In response, President George W. Bush signed “Suzanne’s Law” in 2003. The law required police to notify the National Crime Information Center every time a person between the ages 18 and 21 went missing.
Before the passage of Suzanne’s Law, law enforcement were only required to immediately report cases of missing children under the age of 18. The new family law changed the provision from 18 to 21, protecting individuals who have recently graduated high school or are attending college.
Suzanne’s Law amends the Crime Control Act of 1990. In the past, it was common practice for police to wait a day before investigating college-aged missing persons. The family law encouraged law enforcement to begin investigations as soon as possible, hoping to save lives that may otherwise be lost waiting through an arbitrary waiting period.