SC bill would expand safe haven law - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

SC bill would allow parents to safely abandon kids up to 3

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – Legislators in Columbia are proposing a bill that would update "Daniel's Law," raising the age limit a parent can safely drop off a child without facing charges to three years.

Right now the law only allows for babies up to one month old to fall under the provision, which some count on to save innocent lives.

Rep. Chip Limehouse (R)-Charleston introduced the bill, which stalled in a House sub-committee Thursday. Despite its first hurdle Limehouse says he's optimistic the bill will advance to the House floor over the next few weeks.

He says the new law may help prevent tragic child death cases like the Orangeburg mom who confessed to killing her two sons, both under three, before sending their bodies, in a car, plunging into the North Edisto River.

"We're here about saving children's lives. The extension of "Daniel's Law" will save lives of children period and that's all we're interested in," said Limehouse.

Along the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, two recent cases shine light on the issue of child abandonment and abuse.

In Florence County, two women were charged with the murder of three-year-old Ty'Lashia Grant in late January, and in Horry County the Baby Boy Horry case still sits wide-open.

Lt. Jamie DeBari has worked on that case since the beginning, and he says the new bill could go both ways. He says it could save more lives, but he's also worried people might take advantage of the law.

"My main concerns would be people trying to skirt their responsibility of care of the child," DeBari said.

Limehouse says someone has to step up and save these children.

"They're innocent, they're defenseless and they can not help themselves," he said.

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