June 15, 2021

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Representative presents measure to facilitate the search for missing persons

The bill seeks to implement the “Ashanti Alert Plan” in Puerto Rico

The capitol – The representative of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), Edgardo Feliciano Sánchez, presented this Thursday a bill to implement the “Ashanti Alert Plan” in Puerto Rico, in order to have a mechanism that facilitates the search and recovery of missing persons between the ages of 18 and 64.

“In our country, people between the ages of 18 and 64 disappear every day, and there is no legal framework to speed up the search for them. This alert, like others, have the purpose of saving lives and our commitment is to provide citizens with the necessary tools to deal with situations in which the disappearance of an individual is reported, ”Feliciano Sánchez said in a written communication.

The People’s Representative explained that the Ashanti Alert was signed by the President of the United States on December 31, 2018 and was named after Ashanti Billie, a native Maryland woman who disappeared in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area in September 2017. .

From the beginning it was suspected that the young woman had been kidnapped, but since she was 19 years old, she was considered an adult, so an Amber Alert notice or notification could not be published.

He was also too young to receive a Silver Alert or “Silver Alert.” Two weeks after her disappearance, the young woman’s body was found in North Carolina.

“Recently, a similar case occurred in Puerto Rico, when on September 17, 2020, the young 20-year-old Rosimar Rodríguez Gómez was kidnapped in front of her residence in the Sabana Seca neighborhood in Toa Baja and later murdered. The investigation of the Rodríguez Gómez case was initially treated as a disappearance, and if this alert had been available, perhaps Rosimar would be with us, ”the legislator said.

Amber Alert and Silver Alert

In Puerto Rico there are alerts such as Amber and Silver.

The Amber Alert is activated when a minor under 18 has been kidnapped or illegally deprived of his liberty, while the Silver Alert is used when the whereabouts of adults over 60 with Alzheimer’s conditions or other forms of dementia are missing or are unknown.

“It is very worrying that the population between 18 and 64 years of age is exposed because the Ashanti Alert does not exist in Puerto Rico. As was done in the United States, we are called to implement an alert like this one, so that cases in which the disappearance of citizens within this demographic range are reported promptly. It is time to give the necessary tools to the relevant agencies so that the loss of young people like Ashanti and Rosimar is not in vain, “said the representative of District 12.

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