TULSA - A statewide runaway child alert system is closer to becoming reality. Lawmakers hope the bill could also help fight human trafficking.
State lawmakers unanimously approved the bill in the house Wednesday. Its goal is to help find missing children, like Paige Moore of Broken Arrow.
Her family tells us they're in favor of it if it could help bring children like Paige home.
It's been nearly eight months since 17-year-old Paige Moore disappeared. Her parents say she was supposed to go to summer school that day. But they never saw her again.
"I feel like a piece of my heart has been ripped out of me, and I want it back," said her grandmother Cheryl Couey.
Couey says she thinks of her every day.
"I just want her to be found. I want her to come home, and be with her family," she said.
Paige's family worries she got caught up with drug dealers or human trafficking.
"I hope that's not what happened to her. But you know, the possibility's there," Couey said.
A new bill would create a statewide alert system to notify police of missing children--alerting them immediately on their cellphones. The alert system would also report information to the National Crime Information Center .
Lawmakers say it's a step to fight human trafficking. It's a problem local, state and federal agencies are seeing more and more here in Oklahoma.
"It is a problem here in Tulsa, and we are actively and thoroughly investigating it each and every day," said David Marwell, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations.
Federal agents can't put a number on how many victims are in the Tulsa area.
"Part of our entire viewpoint on attacking this issue is to help the victims, and get them on the help to recover, and also get them healthy again," Marwell said.
Cheryl doesn't know what happened to Paige. She just knows she wants her home.
"I just want to say that if anybody knows where she is, or if anyone is keeping her from her family I wish they'd let her go, and come home. 'Cause we all miss her very much," she said.
Broken Arrow Police believe Paige Moore left home on her own will. They say they've investigated hundreds of leads.
But at last check, police had no updates on the case. 2NEWS didn't hear back from police Wednesday.
House bill 2227 goes to the state Senate next.
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