2020 Georgia Code
Title 35 - Law Enforcement Officers and Agencies
Chapter 1 - General Provisions
§ 35-1-8. Acquisition, Collection, Classification, and Preservation of Information Assisting in Identifying Deceased Persons and Locating Missing Persons

Universal Citation: GA Code § 35-1-8 (2020)
  1. It shall be the duty of every law enforcement agency to:
    1. Acquire, collect, classify, and preserve any information which would assist in the identification of any deceased individual who has not been identified after the discovery of such deceased individual;
    2. Acquire, collect, classify, and preserve immediately any information which would assist in the location of any missing person, including any minor, and provide confirmation as to any entry for such a person to the parent, legal guardian, or next of kin of that person and the agency shall acquire, collect, classify, and preserve such information from such parent, guardian, or next of kin;
    3. Exchange such records and information as provided in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection with other law enforcement agencies of this state, any other state, or the United States. With respect to missing minors, such information shall be transmitted immediately to other law enforcement agencies; and
    4. Report any case of an unusual illness, health condition, or death, or an unusual cluster of such events, or any other suspicious health related event to the Department of Public Health and the appropriate county board of health.
    1. For purposes of this subsection, "facility" means a facility pursuant to Chapter 3, 4, or 7 of Title 37, relating to treatment of mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and alcoholic or drug dependent persons, or an institution classified as a nursing home pursuant to Code Section 31-7-1.
    2. A person hospitalized or resident in a facility shall be considered to be a missing person at the time such person's unaccounted for absence from that facility is reported by that facility, either by telephone or in writing, to a law enforcement agency.
  2. Any law enforcement agency which receives a report that a person who has Alzheimer's disease or other mental illness involving dementia is missing shall immediately open an investigation for the purpose of determining such person's whereabouts; and no policy for applying any waiting period prior to initiation of a missing persons investigation shall apply in the case of a person who has Alzheimer's disease or other mental illnesses involving dementia.

(Code 1981, §35-1-8, enacted by Ga. L. 1984, p. 690, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 1128, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 35; Ga. L. 1997, p. 1504, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1386, § 10; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, §§ 1-4, 3-5/HB 228; Ga. L. 2011, p. 705, § 6-3/HB 214.)

Cross references.

- Disposition of unclaimed dead bodies, § 31-21-20 et seq.

Prohibition on minimum waiting periods for initiating missing person report, § 35-1-18.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1985, "subsection" was substituted for "Code section" in paragraph (a)(3) and "Chapter" was substituted for "Chapters" in paragraph (b)(1).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2002, subsection (d) as enacted by Ga. L. 2002, p. 1386, § 10 was redesignated as paragraph (a)(4), "and" was deleted from the end of paragraph (a)(2) and "; and" was substituted for a period at the end of (a)(3).

Law reviews.

- For note on the 2002 amendment of this Code section, see 19 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 1 (2002). For article on the 2011 amendment of this Code section, see 28 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 147 (2011).

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