Two United States Senators, Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) have urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund a new federal office to find missing adults.
In a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senators Warner and Blumenthal write “it is imperative that the Ashanti Alert Act receives sufficient funding in order to advance its goals of transforming the lives and safety of Americans. Fully funding this program ensures that the Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies, and relevant entities and stakeholders have the necessary resources to make the Ashanti Alert network as helpful and effective as possible.”
The Ashanti Alert Act requires the Department of Justice to establish a national communications network, named the Ashanti Alert, to assist regional and local search efforts for certain missing adults. Under the new law, the Attorney General must designate a national coordinator to work with states to establish Ashanti Alert systems and to develop voluntary guidelines that states (as well as territories) should use in creating their networks.
President Donald Trump signed the Ashanti Alert Act into law in December 2018. But to date, the U.S. Department of Justice has not made an effort to implement the law. In March, Senator Warner wrote to Attorney General William Barr seeking an update on the implementation of Ashanti Alert at the U.S. Department of Justice.
The new law makes Utah the 29th state to have a Silver Alert program. Utah previously only had an Endangered Person Advisory.
HB 215 defines “endangered adult” as a person 60 years of age or older with dementia.
The family of Corey Adams in Milwaukee were resolved that their loved one would not have died in vain.
Technical Sergeant U.S. Air Force Veteran Corey Adams is described by relatives as a family man, fishing enthusiast and American patriot.
And then Corey Adams went missing.
On March 20, 2017, he was scheduled for an appointment at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. Gwendolyn Adams left to run an errand prior to that appointment, and upon her return, her son was gone.
”I said, ‘You know what? I am calling the police,'” Adams said.
Help didn’t arrive.
Corey’s father went to the police station to fill out a missing person’s report, but they were informed Corey did not meet the standards for a “critically missing” person.
“For an alert to go out as a missing person, you have to have criteria,” Adams said. “Everything they asked for we told them we had, and they said it didn’t meet it.”
Local police waited eight days to begin an investigation into Corey’s disappearance. Tragically, Corey Adams was never found alive.
Corey Adams’ lifeless body was pulled from a pond in Dineen Park on April 7, 2017.
“He’s my son. He’s my oldest child,” Gwendolyn Adams said. “And so I said, ‘I have to do something to honor my son’s name.’ I wanted to make sure that this didn’t happen to another family. I was angry, and I knew I needed to focus that anger in a positive way,” Adams said.
Corey’s family brought his story to Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin), who introduced the Corey Adams Searchlight Act, to create a nationwide system of Green Alerts to help locate missing veterans.
“Too many veterans put their lives on the line for this country without receiving the support and resources they need in return,” said Congresswoman Moore. “This bill, modeled after Wisconsin’s Green Alert program, takes an important step forward in ensuring our nation’s veterans receive the care and respect they so greatly deserve. It took eight days too long for Air Force Veteran Corey Adams to qualify for a missing persons alert. It’s my hope that this bill prevents tragedies of this nature from happening again. It’s Congress’s duty to protect veterans and their families.”
“This bill is important because had the “Green Alert” been operational when Corey went missing, he may have come home alive,” said Carmen Adams, Corey Adams’ sister. “We could not save my brother but it is my hope that by passing this bill and instituting a Green Alert nation-wide we can save others. As we approach Memorial Day, it is fitting that we remember my Corey by not forgetting his brothers and sisters in arms that may still be struggling with the effects of their military service.”
In the 116th Congress, Congresswoman Moore has reintroduced the Corey Adams Searchlight Act as H.R. 1350.