Brandon’s Law Advances

Brandon Swanson disappeared May 14, but his presence was felt Monday in the Minnesota Capitol.

The House voted 134-0 for a law named after Swanson. It was written to speed up searches for missing young adults.

"It will mean big changes for anguished family members," said Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, who wrote the bill and negotiated agreements with law enforcement officials.

The measure requires police to often quickly launch searches for young adults and for older adults in some cases.

Swanson’s car was found in a ditch near Taunton, in southwestern Minnesota, after he disappeared on May 14. Seifert said the search was delayed because he is an adult and because of confusion over which county was responsible.

The bill requires law enforcement officers to accept missing persons report without delay. Officers then need to determine if the person could be considered "endangered," and if they find that they must begin a search right away.

Rep. Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, said that one family that could have benefit from the so-called Brandon’s Law was that of Dan Zamlen. His parents, Sally and Dale, testified last week that the search for their son began too late.

He went missing in St. Paul April 5 and has not been found, even though more than 1,000 fellow Iron Range residents have hunted for him along the Mississippi River near St. Thomas University, where he is a student.