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Gov. Northam signs bill to help find critically missing adults

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ROANOKE, Va.- – There's now a new tool to help find missing adults in the commonwealth.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill to create a system that will fill the gap for people who are too old for an amber alert but too young for a senior alert.

Gil Harrington of Help Save The Next Girl knows how hard it can be to have a missing loved one.
     
Her daughter Morgan was abducted and murdered after attending a concert in Charlottesville in 2008. She was missing for three months before her body was found.
    
A new bill signed into law by Northam approves a program that could help find a critically missing person before it's too late.

"In abduction and sexual assault there's a small window of opportunity for a person's life to be saved," said Harrington.
 
The Ashanti Alert was inspired by Ashanti Billie, a 19-year-old woman who went missing from a Virginia Beach Navy base last fall. She was later found dead in North Carolina. 

Harrington says she's really pleased Northam passed this type of legislation. 

Here's how it will work: Any future alerts would be sent out by law enforcement and notify of a missing adult who is believed to have been kidnapped and whose disappearance poses a credible threat to their health and safety.

Ten years ago a similar alert was sent out for Morgan Harrington but only to students 

"Both Virginia Tech University and the University of Virginia activated their internal alert so kids on campus members of institutions were alerted and could be looking out for her. That's just a small percentage of the population in Charlottesville," said Harrington. 

This new alert will also allow police to notify media and post digital billboards.
     
As for Harrington, she's busy preparing to the second annual Virginia Missing Persons Day in Roanoke on April 28.

It's a day for local families to be updated on the cases of their loved ones and remember them with a candlelight vigil.
 


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