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Legislature passes cellphone-tracking bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia wireless providers will have to help police track a person's cellphone in emergencies involving death or serious physical harm.

The state Senate voted unanimously Friday to pass West Virginia's version of the Kelsey Smith Act. The House passed the bill in March.

Several states have considered such legislation since the 2007 abduction and murder of 18-year-old Kansan 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 wireless provider to cooperate with police. The bill calls on wireless companies to provide information at the request of police, without requiring a judge's order.

The bill limits the liability of wireless companies.


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