Brett BlumeBy Brett Blume

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – The Hailey Owens case focuses fresh attention on a bill before Missouri lawmakers.

Senate Bill 491 is the latest effort to revise Missouri’s criminal code.

But child safety advocate Emily van Schenkhof with “Missouri Kids First” says incredibly, one aspect of the measure sought to reduce the penalty for child kidnapping from a Class “A” to a Class “B” felony.

“We absolutely believe that child kidnapping needs to remain a Class A felony. It is one of the most serious crimes, something that is horrific and devastating,” says van Schenkhof.

After her group and others spoke out, the proposal to downgrade the penalty for kidnapping was stripped from the measure and now van Schenkhof says she’s lobbying for Senate Bill 491’s passage to better protect Missouri’s children.


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