CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) — Nearly 3,000 of Ohio’s most dangerous convicted criminals are now registered in a statewide Sierah Act database.
The law was named after a University of Toledo student, 20-year-old Sierah Joughin.
She was kidnapped and murdered six years ago by a repeat offender.
Now the memory of Sierah lives on through her family.
“The holidays are always difficult, Sierah loved the family tradition,” said Tara Ice, Sierah’s aunt.
Her legacy continues through Sierah’s law.
“It keeps her alive. This is how we can grieve positively as a family. And continuing to hear her name feels like she’s still with us,” Ice said.
She believes her murder could have been prevented.
They found out after her death that her killer lived a few miles from their home and was a repeat violent offender.
“If we had had Sierah’s Law, maybe we could have found her sooner and the ending could have been different,” Ice said.
Sierah’s Law recently established a violent criminal database maintained by the Ohio BCI.
The police can use this to help locate someone who is missing.
And you, the public, can use it to stay informed.
You can find out more by going to your sheriff’s office and requesting the name, picture, crimes, and address of violent offenders living in your area.
“It’s just shocking, shocking that these people are alive among us,” Ice said.
19 investigations found that as of December 1, 2,910 criminal records existed in the violent offender database, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
That’s more than 900 criminals from last year at this time.
We also found that more than 1,400 felons are registered for murder and aggravated homicide.
And more than 1,200 perpetrators are on the list for kidnapping and kidnapping.
“These are crimes that we as the public should know about, whether they are one of our neighbors or live near our child. So we think every state should have it,” Ice said.
Sierah’s aunt runs Justice for Sierah and Sierah Strong, educating young people about safety, including self-esteem and defense training.
They just completed their pilot program with more than 20 schools and 3,000 students. They hope to start teaching in classrooms next school year.
Under Sierah law, anyone convicted of a handful of violent offenses after March 2019 must report to their sheriff’s office once a year for a decade.
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