State legislature passes ‘Expedited Missing Persons Act’

The NY State Senate passed a bill today that will help ensure the speedy identification of a recovered body in case of a tragic event. The ‘Expedited Missing Persons Act’ was introduced after the brutal kidnapping and murder of prominent Williamsburg landlord Menachem Stark, where it took law enforcement hours to piece together the recovered body in Nassau County with the ongoing search in Brooklyn.

“Excruciating hours passed until the authorities realized that the unidentified body in Nassau County was Mr. Stark,” said Rabbi David Niederman, President of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn. “The family endured needless pain and anguish. We hope that no one else experiences anything similar.”

Rabbi Niederman raised the issue with the state legislature representatives of Williamsburg in the wake of Stark’s death, and soon after, Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-Brooklyn) introduced a bill to help prevent such critical delays. Senator Daniel Squadron (D-Manhattan & Brooklyn) sponsored the bill in the Senate, and Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) played a key role in its passage, which occurred today.

“The lapse in time between finding an unidentified deceased person and matching them with an identity is crucial to an investigation,” said Assemblyman Lentol. “The new law will take direct aim at efficiently streamlining this process for both the DCJS and local police precincts.”

Senator Daniel Squadron agreed. “When a tragedy occurs, prompt notification makes a difference for families and law enforcement,” Squadron said.

The bill in the State Assembly was A9006-2013; in the Senate, S6750-2013.