FOX 7 EXCLUSIVE: Colton's Law filed

Colton Turner's family was at the State Capitol Friday when Georgetown State Representative Marsha Farney officially filed Colton's Law.FOX 7's Elizabeth Saab was the only reporter in the room when it happened.

HB 2053 was written as a safety net for Texas' children who, like the toddler, fall through the cracks every day.

The past five months have been difficult for Colton Turner's family. First losing him in such a tragic way; secondly, waiting for justice to play out against the two who are being held and charged in connection with his death.

The court dates for his mother, and her boyfriend continue to be re-scheduled. But for a family who is fighting for change to see Texas State Representative Marsha Farney file HB 2053 was no doubt a brief moment of peace.

"It will be his legacy and with this law, the State of Texas will never forget how they failed him," says Colton's Great Aunt Raquel Helfrich.

She and Colton's grandmother, Kim Vidure, along with long-time family friend Liz St. Clair, were all on-hand for the filing. A moment that's been months in the making.

Rep. Farney officially filed Colton's Law on Friday afternoon.

"We've made a first step to making a difference for Colton," she said.

During his short life, Colton fell off of Child Protective Services' radar many times. Though his mother, Meagan Work often had run-ins with the law, they had no way of knowing that CPS was looking for her or her son.

Right now, CPS has layers of red tape to get through to find "unlocatable" children, and that wastes precious time. At some point, they do have to give up. In fact, last year, they were forced to close 2,493 cases because the families disappeared.

The group says, at this point, it's not about what CPS or any other agency did or didn't do to save Colton. It's about what they couldn't do.

"Colton's Law" could give CPS the tools they need to lay eyes on those kids immediately, giving them the power to immediately alert law enforcement, saving unlocatable children before it's too late.

"You are going to give law enforcement a tremendous tool where they will now have the knowledge to know when they pull someone over if a child is missing," Rep. Farney explains.

For five months now, we've highlighted their push to get "Colton's Law" written. The say this journey was important to channel their grief into change.

"When we first got started it was about supporting my friend and her family," says Liz St. Clair.

St. Clair is the long time family friend who has been the heartbeat of "Colton's Law," meticulously mapping out which cracks in the system became potholes.

"It's turned into regular people saying we need a change and them listening to us, that doesn't happen," she said.

St. Clair is appreciative of Representative Farney, who she believes is paving the way to fix this for the future.

The group had met with several legislators. Ultimately, when Representative Farney came forward to champion their cause, that's when they realized their hopes could become reality.

"She never blinked and I am so incredibly grateful for that," St. Clair says tears welling in her eyes. "It gave us the confidence that this is a righteous cause."

Representative Farney says it was their determination, and the precious memory of a little boy that made this fight even more important.

"You have all worked so hard, you've made this happen, you stood up for Colton and made it happen I just was able to help you at the end," Rep. Farney told the family.

But in the very end, it's that help that will protect the children who need it the most.

"I am very happy that it's being done," says his emotional Great Aunt Raquel, "It's bittersweet though because this law didn't save Colton, at the same time I know there are so many thousands of these kids and they'll be looked for and found."

The law still has a few hurdles to go through. Some of the language is being revised. It has to go to a committee hearing before it can go to the floor for a vote.

 

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