As of last week, Virginia had 383 open cases of missing children. While the State Police do maintain the Missing Child Clearinghouse, Virginia does not require police notification when a child disappears.
State Senator Edd Houck (D) has said he will introduce a bill in the General Assembly's 2012 session that requiring such notification. The bill would make it a felony to not alert authorities of a child's disappearance within 24 hours. Some other states with similar laws have stipulated 12 hours.
Crime Commission member and State Senator Janet Howell says age could be a factor.
"It does seem to me that the urgency is greater with a younger child than an older child," says Howell.
The panel will make a recommendation by December.