Monday, January 25, 2010

Has the Killer of Lucia Amenta been found?

While looking for a completely unrelated image online, I happened to stumble upon the photo and attached article below...

Lucy, come home - a husband's cry into the silence

Paolo Amenta stands in front of large "missing" poster of his wifeof 46 years, Lucia, who disappeared three weeks ago. 
Paolo Amenta stands in front of large "missing" poster of his wife of 46 years, Lucia, who disappeared three weeks ago.

Heartwrenching ... immediately drawn in I found myself googling "Lucia Amenta, Missing" hoping to discover that she had been found and was now safely home with her family who so desperately searched after this seemingly much cherished woman.

My search results provided a fairly large amount of news articles dated from when Lucia Amenta of Fawkner, Australia first went missing in the month of January, 2008.  From which, I was especially drawn towards the story below...

Help find my mum - son

Police have not ruled out foul play in the disappearance of Lucia “Lucy” Amenta.  

Mrs Amenta was cooking chicken schnitzels for a family lunch on Saturday, January 19, just before she disappeared.  

John Amenta fought back tears last week as he explained that his mother, who has lived in Sydney Rd with his father Paul for 29 years, said she was going to walk to visit a friend that morning. 

By now I'm nearly audibly praying "Please Lord, Let Lucia have been found safely..." - which is why my heart sunk when my further online search results produced the following article dated 10/29/09...

CONFIRMED: Body in barrel is Fawkner grandmother Lucia Amenta  -  

A BODY discovered in a barrel in Campbellfield is Fawkner grandmother Lucia Amenta, who vanished in January last year, police have confirmed.

Homicide Squad detectives said dental records had helped identify the 70-year-old, who was last seen walking in Sydney Rd, Fawkner, on January 20 last year. 

At a press conference this afternoon, Insp Stephen Clark said police had a number of suspects but needed public help to solve the case ... He said the barrel was not in the lake on July 31 - the last time Hume Council conducted a river clean-up.

Further search results information revealed that...

Police raid Fawkner home connected to grandmother's disappearance after discovery of female remains in barrel 

Police 'close' to laying charges over body-in-barrel victim Lucia Amenta

John Amenta
Mrs Amenta's body was found on Tuesday in Merlynston Creek at Campbellfield, 3km from her Fawkner home and 21 months after she vanished.

One of Mrs Amenta's sons denied he had anything to do with her death and another prepared to fly back from overseas to bury her.
Mrs Amenta's youngest son, John, 40, declined to comment on the case.

  • Son denies he had anything to do with case
  • Police say body was that of Lucia Amenta
 John Amenta leaves his home in Taylors Lakes. 

However, from what I am currently seeing/finding, there have yet to be any charges issued regarding the apparent murder of Lucia, in fact, I'm pressed to find any new information at all.

With the most recent online search results dated 12/21/09...
Cops quiet on granny-in-barrel killing

Thus I'm left here, sadly wondering...what really happened to this Grandma, what in real life monster committed this heinous crime and (although admittedly impossible to find a satisfying answer to) most of all   WHY ???

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Missing Persons Awareness and Support Network

Friday, January 22, 2010

NCIC’s Role in the ‘Help Find the Missing Act’

Stephen L. Morris, Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Statement Before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security

Criminal Justice Online Courses: National Crime Information Center’s Role in the ‘Help Find the Missing Act’

Billy's Law (The Help Find The Missing Act) can also assist in Human Trafficking cases

"Help Find The Missing Act" can assist in Human Trafficking cases 

This month has been designated Human Trafficking Awareness Month. It's only fitting that Janice Smolinski speak at the Judiciary Committee Hearing scheduled for January 21st in hopes of pushing forward "The Help Find The Missing Act" HR3695 (Billy's Law). 

Though Billy's case is not a Human Trafficking case, Billy's Law does point out and seek to rectify certain issues that may also be attributed to the lack of known or under-reported trafficking cases.( i.e. lack of shared knowledge or databases and lack of reporting requirements for missing persons over 20.)

Report in the states:

At a Human Trafficking Awareness day event in Myrtle Beach Kelly O'Neill-Bagwell, president of EECHAT said she was looking at a map of instances of alleged trafficking and was struck by how few cases appeared in South Carolina. After talking to law enforcement officials, she said she found out that wasn't because it didn't happen here, but that no one was reporting them and victims weren't coming forward.
"We would be sticking our heads in the sand to think that it wasn't happening inside of South Carolina," said Lt. Buddy Wilkes with the S.C. Law Enforcement Division. "I think that awareness and accurate instance numbers go hand in hand. It's a Catch-22 in some ways. You have to increase awareness to get people to come forward and record accurate statistics. In some ways you have to have those statistics to convince people that it's a problem they need to be aware of."
Other states have also reported few trafficking arrests despite new laws. Likewise with missing persons, there is no definitive estimate of the number of missing adults. The reasons are attributed to not reporting the missing adult to the databases that exist on missing persons or not knowing the adult is missing.

Federal law mandates state and local law enforcement report missing children, but there are no such requirements for adults (age 21). 

The reasons an adult goes missing is not usually known. Some cases have turned out to be trafficking cases. The problem is WE DON'T KNOW because federal, state, local and non-profit databases work independently of one another.

The focus of the Help Find the Missing Act is to encourage interaction between databases that are maintained by different agencies. Such as the Missing Persons File of the NCIC which is maintained by the FBI and the Missing Person Database of NamUs, maintained by NIJ and the FBI's NDIS, to name just a few. 

Billy's Law would authorize funding for, and increase accessibility as well as facilitate data sharing on missing persons. It would also establish a grant program as an incentive to law enforcement agencies, coroners, and medical examiners to enter profiles of missing persons aged 21 and older into the databases that currently require children ages 20 and under.

Billy's Law would also amend the National Child Search Assistance Act of 1990. The changes would require law enforcement agencies to enter information about individuals under age 21 to NamUs, in addition to the NCIC which is currently required. Currently the FBI is prohibited from providing records to NamUs.

H.R. 3695 builds upon recent efforts to address issues by:
· Authorizing, and therefore helping to ensure funding for, the National Missing Persons and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), which was created in July 2007 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide a federal missing persons/unidentified database that the public could access and contribute to;
· Connecting NamUs with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in order to create more comprehensive missing persons and unidentified remains databases and streamlining the reporting process for local law enforcement;
· Expanding current law by requiring missing children be reported to NamUs (they already must be reported to NCIC);
· Creating an incentive grants program to help states, local law enforcement and medical examiners/coroners report missing persons and unidentified remains to NCIC, NamUs, and the National DNA Index System (NDIS); and
· Calling on the DOJ to issue guidelines and best practices on handling missing persons and unidentified remains cases in order to empower law enforcement, medical examiners and coroners to help find the missing.

Billy's law will help fill the gap in resources, shared information, and provide one central database.  Understanding the relationship between Missing Persons and Human Trafficking and the disconnects of information that is occurring in each, it makes it very clear that "Help Find The Missing Act" HR3695 (Billy's Law) must be passed. 

According to a close friend of the family Larry Ramsdell, family and friends are asking people to call the Subcommittee Members and ask them to attend the hearing on January 21st and request they co-sponsor the bill. Congressman Ted Poe is a major supporter of this Bill and is expected to attend the hearing. For more information, click here.



*Hon. Lofgren (D) California, 16th
*Hon. Waters (D) California, 35th
*Hon. Lungren (R) California, 3rd

*Hon. Wasserman Schultz (D) Florida, 20th
*Hon. Rooney (R) Florida, 16th

*Hon. Quigley (D) Illinois, 5th

*Hon. Weiner (D) New York, 9th
*Hon. Nadler (D) New York, 8th

*Hon. Pierluisi (D) Puerto Rico, Resident Commissioner

*Hon. Cohen (D) Tennessee, 9th

*Hon. Jackson Lee (D) Texas, 18th
*Hon. Gohmert Ranking Member (R) Texas, 1st
*Hon. Poe (R) Texas, 2nd

*Hon. Scott Chairman (D) Virginia, 3rd
*Hon. Forbes (R) Virginia, 4th
*Hon. Goodlatte (R) Virginia, 6th



By Linda Forman
Clarification on Billy's Law.
I would like to clarify a couple of points on Billy's Law that may have been misunderstood. They are important issues when talking to your congressman to try to get cosponsors for Billy's Law.


1) Billy’s Law creates an incentive grants program to provide law enforcement, medical examiners, and coroners with the resources they need to report missing adults or unidentified bodies to the federal databases. It does NOT mandate they be reported.

2) Billy’s Law would connect the FBI’s National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) missing person and unidentified persons databases with the Department of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), in order to increase the likelihood of finding the missing or identifying human remains.

3) NamUs is the only federal database that the public can search and contribute to. Billy’s Law ensures that sensitive information held in the FBI’s database is not required to be shared in order to protect ongoing investigations. Instead, it requires the FBI to determine which information should be shared in order to help solve missing persons cases.

4) Under Billy’s Law, the Department of Justice will be charged with educating law enforcement, medical, examiners, and coroners about the federal databases and how to best handle missing persons cases.

5) Billy’s Law is a bi-partisan effort and is supported by the law enforcement, forensics and missing children/adults advocacy communities.

If you have any questions or would like be an original cosponsor of Billy’s Law, please contact Linda Forman in Congressman Murphy’s office at x5-4476 or Tim Tarpley in Congressman Poe’s office at x5-6565.

Please join us at Peace4 the Missing
Missing Persons Awareness and Support Network 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Actively Aware of ...

Please join us at Peace4 the Missing 
Missing Persons Awareness and Support Network

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

May 25 - National Missing Children's Day

President Ronald Reagan declares May 25th National Missing Children's Day in 1983.

First proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan and observed by every administration since, May 25th is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school.
His story captivated the nation. His photo, taken by his father, a professional photographer, was circulated nationwide and appeared in media across the nation and around the world. Etan became the poster-child for a movement. The powerful image came to symbolize the anguish and trauma of thousands of searching families.
For nearly three decades, the search for Etan has continued. Just as that day when President Reagan proclaimed the first National Missing Children's Day, Etan is still missing. The widespread attention brought to his case and those of others eventually led to a nationwide commitment to help locate and recover missing children.
National Missing Children's Day honors this commitment by reminding parents, guardians, and other trusted-adult role models to make child safety a priority.

Highlight safety information on your website
Fast Fact: More than 2,000 children are reported missing every day.1 

Action Items:

  • Add a banner or a link to on your home page to offer an overview of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's (NCMEC) programs and campaigns; national statistics; and tips and safety materials that can be downloaded by your listeners and viewers. 

  • Add a link to on your home page and direct parents and guardians to visit the site to learn how to talk to their children about safety. 

Help find a missing child
Fast Fact: NCMEC's recovery rate of missing children is more than 96 percent.2

Action Items:

  • Encourage people to search our database and view posters of missing children.

  • Download posters of missing children from your area and post to your site or broadcast the photo and direct those with information to call 1-800-THE-LOST.

  • Call on your audience to download photos of missing children in your area from and post them around the community.

  • Dedicate certain hours of your broadcast to highlight cases of missing children. Search our database or contact your state clearinghouse for a list of children missing in your area.

  • Interview family members of the missing children you profile.

  • Host a Radiothon the week of May 25th and call it a ‘Findathon’ for missing children. Listeners can dedicate songs to missing children.

  • Interview representatives from NCMEC to discuss the issue, history of the movement, and ways communities can be more proactive in protecting their children. Call NCMEC’s Communications Department at 703-837-6111 to request an interview.

Promote your local AMBER Alert program
Fast Fact: To date, 443 children have been recovered because of the AMBER Alert program.3 

Action Items:

  • Encourage people to sign up for Wireless AMBER Alerts.

  • Provide up-to-date information on this program including number of children recovered and success stories from across the country.

  • Highlight a success story in your area and interview the family and law-enforcement officials involved in the case.

  • Explain how the program works in your area so people are reminded they have this valuable tool. Set up interviews with your state AMBER Alert coordinator for details on the program.

  • Post current local AMBER Alerts on your homepage.

Promote child safety to families, including online safety
Fast Fact: 1 in 7 kids is sexually solicited online; only 1 in 4 will tell their parents or guardians.4

Action Items:

  • Broadcast radio and TV PSAs from the advertising campaign developed by NCMEC, the Ad Council, and the U.S. Department of Justice to alert families about online child sexual exploitation. Print ads are also available.

  • Interview someone from NCMEC to provide valuable tips to help parents protect their children’s online life. Call 703-837-6111 with interview requests.

  • Interview your local Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force which investigates these types of crimes in your state.
  • Use age-appropriate, 3-D activities to teach children ages 5 to 17 how to stay safer on the Internet with the NetSmartz Workshop™.

  • Direct parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement and encourage them to get engaged in children’s online life.

  • Direct parents and guardians to for answering questions about Internet Safety, computers, and the Web.

Educate your audience about sex offender registration and community notification

Fast Fact: There are more than 673,000 registered sex offenders in the United States and as many as 100,000 are "missing," that is, law enforcement does not know where they are.5 

Action Items:

  • Direct your audience to search the National Sex Offender Public Registry

  • View a map showing the current number of sex offenders registered in each state.
  • Discuss the need for Congress to appropriate funds to fully implement the Adam Walsh Act.

Other ideas
  • Cover NCMEC’s 14th Annual Congressional Breakfast on May 12, 2009 on Capitol Hill. Every year NCMEC honors law enforcement officers’ outstanding work in cases involving missing and exploited children. This year's winners were chosen from California, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. To arrange interviews with our winners and family members please call 703-837-6111. Interviews can be arranged before the event in your hometown or on the day of the event on Capitol Hill.

Please join us at Peace4 the Missing
Missing Persons Awareness and Support Network

Thursday, January 14, 2010

HR 3695 The Help Find The Missing Act (Billy's Law): PUSHING FORWARD - PEACE4 THE MISSING

Today, January 14, 2010 is Billy Smolinski's birthday, the missing person for which this bill is named.
There is a Judiciary Committee Hearing scheduled for January 21 and his mother, Janice, will be speaking before the committee. She will be speaking as not only a mother with a missing child, but as a representative of all of the family members of a missing person, she is our voice. She has worked 3 years for this day, for the opportunity to finally get this bill before the Representatives in Congress. It's very clear to all of us who want passage of this bill that it is a "one shot deal." If it fails to make it, there will NOT be another chance to make it happen. The importance of this can not be emphasized enough.

If you have a missing loved one, or are someone who cares about the missing, please help us in this effort. Contact your district's US Representative NOW and ask them to support and sign on as a Co-Sponsor.

HR 3695 The Help Find The Missing Act (Billy's Law): PUSHING FORWARD - PEACE4 THE MISSING

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What's best for THE MISSING?

HOPE, Support, Awareness, Compassion, Commitment, One Goal, United Efforts, No Egos, Devotion, Determination, Dedication, Billy's Law, NamUs.Gov, The Voices of Those with Missing Loved Ones ...

What do you think is/would be/should be Best For THE MISSING ???

Please include your ideas here below!

Peace4 the Missing

Actively Aware Awareness

Please join us at Peace4 the Missing
Missing Persons Awareness and Support Network