HARRISBURG – The PA House Judiciary Committee passed legislation requiring a report about a missing child be made within 24 hours after their whereabouts became unknown. The bill does offer protection for guardians who have a legitimate reason to believe the child is safe with someone else. House Bill 486 will require proof that a parent’s silence exhibited a reckless disregard for a risk of harm to a child, or for the child’s health, safety or welfare under the circumstances. The requirement that the parent act with recklessness will, for example, protect a divorced parent who may not have knowledge of their child’s whereabouts, but who has a reason to believe the child is with the other parent or a friend. The duty will extend to natural parents as well as step-parents, adoptive parents, guardians, and custodians. A violation would be a third degree felony, punishable by up to seven years confinement and $15,000 fine. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.