Davenport Police are explaining why they didn't release information to the public about two different residents that haven't been seen for weeks.
There aren't any new developments on the two cases, according to Davenport Police Assistant Chief Don Schaeffer on Wednesday, January 8th, 2013. However, he sat down with News 8's Angie Sharp to explain why it took them until Saturday, January 4th, 2013 and Monday, January 6th to publicly release Olson and Hughes (respectively) as "Missing Persons."
Chief Schaeffer says getting to that point is not simple.
"We need to prove that," he said on Wednesday, January 8th.
Unlike "Amber Alerts," "Missing Person Reports" have to meet certain criteria. According to Davenport Police...
A "Missing Person" is defined as the following:
- A person of any age who is missing and who is under proven physical/mental disability or is senile, thereby subjecting that person or others to person and immediate danger.
- A person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating that the person's physical safety may be in danger.
- A person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating that the disappearance was not voluntary.
- A person of any age who is missing after a catastrophe.
Chief Schaeffer says not following that protocol could lead to a lawsuit.
"An individual has that right to do whatever they want to do and you're violating that right if you report them as missing," he said. "If it's voluntary and they're in good health and not harming themselves or anybody else or endangering themselves, you have to honor that."
However, waiting one or two weeks after first reporting a person is missing could be frustrating to family members.
"I don't have any other answers," said Dave Olson, Carrie's Father, during an interview with News 8's Angie Sharp on Thursday, January 2nd, 2013.
"I feel like the police department - they're 8 days late," said Hope Hughes, Willis' Niece, during an interview with News 8's Chris Minor on Monday, January 6th, 2013.
"Sometimes that develops a wedge between the family and us," said Chief Schaeffer. "They don't think we're doing enough."
However, he says there are two detectives on Carrie's case and two on Willis' and they're doing what they can to bring both home.
"I can ensure you on every case we take them serious," said Chief Schaeffer.