OH - SNAP responds to girl's kidnapping

July 24, 2016


Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur

9th District

One Maritime Plaza, Room. 600
Toledo, OH 43604

Senator Sherrod Brown

713 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510


Representative:  D.  Michael Ashford (District 44)

Representative: Teresa Fedor (District 45)

Representative Robert McColley (District 81)

Representative Michael Sheehy (District 46)

 C/O   Ohio House of Representatives

77 S High St Fl 12,

Columbus, OH 43215


Senator Edna Brown (District 11)

Senator Cliff Hite (District 1)

Senator Randy Gardner (District 2)

c/o Ohio Senate

Senate Building
1 Capitol Square
Columbus, OH 43215

Dear Lawmakers:

Our community is overwhelmed with grief as we watch helplessly, a family grieve the senseless and violent murder of a 20 year-old college student, Sierah Joughin who was abducted last week while innocently riding her purple bicycle in broad daylight in a quiet rural area less than a half mile from her home.

Law enforcement quickly honed in on a prime suspect who has a violent criminal past and lived in close proximity of the crime scene. He actually served time in prison for a similar type crime over 25 years ago according to all news accounts.

As these facts emerge, we as a community are left to wonder --- how did no one know about him?  Why does Ohio not have a violent crime registry?  How do protect our loved ones from these types of violent crimes when the criminals are shielded in anonymity? We have sex offender registries for a reason. Why don’t we have violent crime registries so parents and families can be armed with information?  If even one more family is spared this unimaginable grief, would it not be worth it?

If her family and the community at large were on notice that a violent criminal lived amongst them, then perhaps they would have been better positioned to make a different decision?  Isn’t knowledge power?

The largest “street gang” in the nation, are good hearted, decent people. Can’t lawmakers “arm” us with knowledge to better protect ourselves?

Can both sides of the political aisle come together and set aside their political differences, in the name of Sierah Joughin (and those similarly situated), whose life was violently taken from her and her family in unimaginable horror and establish a constitutional violent crimes registry that requires both violent offenders to be registered and surrounding communities notified? I am writing asking for a “procedural” change in the law, not a substantive one that better arms Ohio families with knowledge.

It’s no secret that politics are at an all time low. It’s so difficult for meaningful change to be effected and yet on a policy level, as evidenced by this murder and others, has there ever been a time when swift change was more needed?

Nothing will bring Sierah Joughin back, nor restore her family whole. But, can’t you, as  policy makers simply set aside political differences to expeditiously work together, so that our communities and families are informed when violent criminals live amongst us?

We can’t protect kids, college kids, our families or the elderly in secret. Please swiftly help eliminate this gaping hole in our law.  It is our best chance at eliminating future violent crimes like the one committed against Sierah Joughin and her family.


Claudia Vercellotti


PO Box 9851

Toledo, Ohio 43697

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