Mosbrucker bill to match dental records to missing persons gains unanimous House approval, awaits Senate hearing

A bill that would develop a consent process for people’s dental records to be used if they become missing cleared the House with unanimous support recently and now awaits a Senate hearing.

House Bill 2009 is prime-sponsored by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale.

“This bill came to me from a constituent who had been looking for her missing daughter for five years. She spent weekends and any free time she had putting up posters all over in her area and in neighboring towns and cities, trying to find her daughter. Later, she learned her daughter died three years earlier,” said Mosbrucker. “All we had to do to solve that case was to match the dental records to the unidentified body that had been found.”

The bill would require the Washington State Patrol and the Dental Quality Assurance Commission to develop a process for dentists to submit information indicating that a patient has consented to the release of their dental records in the event the patient becomes the subject of a missing person investigation.

“When you go to the dentist, you can voluntarily fill out a piece of paper that says you give permission to disclose your dental records to the Washington State Patrol in the event you are the subject of a missing person investigation so they can help find you,” added Mosbrucker, ranking member of the House Community Safety, Justice and Reentry Committee.

The bill also authorizes the investigating agency for a missing person case to contact the missing person’s dentist if that person already consented to the release of their dental records.

“This will help families find their loved ones and gain closure,” noted Mosbrucker.

The measure passed the House 96-0. It now awaits a hearing in the Senate Law and Justice Committee.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov