CHANGE HOW POLICE RESPOND TO REPORTS OF MISSING CHILDREN! Support the Amenhotep Law

CHANGE HOW POLICE RESPOND TO REPORTS OF MISSING CHILDREN! Support the Amenhotep Law

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Amenhotep Alert & Response Law commUNITY started this petition to US Attorney General and

On April 5, 2021, in Lexington County, South Carolina, 15-year-old Sanaa Amenhotep was lured away from her home by someone she thought was a friend. She  left without permission and was gone for an extended period of time. Her mother contacted the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department to inform them that her daughter was missing. The mom said the first question she was asked was, “had she done this before’? Her response was “Yes, but it’s different this time”. Basic information was taken, but they took no action.  Sanaa and her mom had recently relocated from New Jersey and had limited family in the area. For days her mother and aunt went looking for her. On the 5th and 10th days of her missing, again her mother reached out to the Sheriff. Again, no action was taken. On April 30, 2021, after 25 days, Sanaa Amenhotep’s decomposing and bullet ridden body was found in a shallow grave less than 25 miles away from her home. Would things have been different if the police had taken action when the mother said, YES, BUT IT’S DIFFERENT THIS TIME?

Almost daily we hear stories about teens who go missing, found as victims of trafficking and exploitation or assaulted and even murdered by a predator, like Sanaa. While those cases may generate headlines or brief flurries of media interest, what is sometimes missed is how their cases began and how we as first responders, call takers and investigators approached their case from onset.


All too often those cases began as a report of a missing child who was either characterized by the family from the start as voluntarily missing or whose case was approached as a probable runaway by law enforcement. Sadly, many of those we “thought” were runaways or were voluntarily missing were actually abducted, lured away or not allowed to return by a predator, like Sanaa.  Regardless how they went missing, the bottom line is that their cases did not receive the same degree of attention or investigative resources that a reported abduction or endangered missing classification might have prompted, like the case of Sanaa Amenhotep. 

CREATING A POLICY AND A CULTURE CHANGE

In order to properly address the issue of runaways and voluntary missing in terms of how we respond and investigate, we must implement national policy and a culture change in law enforcement. In a vast majority of these cases the child is reunited with their family or comes home on his or her own. It is easy to see how we can become complacent to the fact that there are children in that group that will never come home, like Sanaa Amenhotep, without a law that requires a different public safety response. 


One child’s death is one too many. While Sanaa Amenhotep’s abduction and murder are not the first case of this nature and sadly, probably will not be the last. But it should be considered the catalyst for change.  According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, NCIC, there are an estimated 460,000 children reported missing every year in the United States.  This, however, is only a snapshot of the problem. There are many cases that go unreported or treated as a runaway case, as the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office did with Sanaa Amenhotep. 


It is time for a cultural shift in regard to runaways and implement a national policy and plan of action for public safety response. We propose the introduction of the Amenhotep Respond and Alert Law. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!
At 25,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!