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House of Delegates passes cellphone-tracking measure

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A 2007 abduction and murder has West Virginia lawmakers proposing that wireless service providers help law enforcement track a person's cellphone.

The House of Delegates voted 96-1 Monday to pass West Virginia's version of the Kelsey Smith Act.

Several states have considered such legislation since the murder of Kansas 18-year-old Kelsey Smith. Cellphone signals helped lead police to her body four days after she was abducted from a Target store parking lot.

Smith's parents have sought such laws following a delay in getting their daughter's cellphone provider to cooperate with police. Monday's bill would call on wireless telecommunications companies to provide information without requiring a judge's order. It would apply to emergency situations involving a risk of death or serious physical harm.

The bill heads to the Senate.


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