Information on autopsy reports would be confidential under a measure approved by a Senate committee on Thursday. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved House Bill 3155 by Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Tuttle, and Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha. The committee, however, removed the bill’s title. A bill must have a title to become law. HB 3155 would keep the cause of death and other information contained in an autopsy report secret. Details in those reports are sometimes the only evidence an investigator has to develop leads and releasing that information to the public can make it more difficult to solve a case, said Jessica Brown, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Brown said information released on autopsy reports in two recent high-profile cases may have made it more difficult to find suspects because information that only some close to the crime would know is now common knowledge and published. In the 2008 murder of two Weleetka girls, the autopsy reports showed the location of gunshot wounds on the two young girls. In the case of the Rev. Carol Daniels, who was killed in Anadarko in August, the report showed that Daniels’ hair had been burned. Brown said releasing these details to the public hampered the investigations. Both cases remain unsolved. "When there’s not an abundance of evidence, that information becomes very important in developing leads,” she said. Under the proposed changes, very little information would be available and the cause of death would not be included in information given to the public. This provision would also apply to all deaths investigated by the state Medical Examiner’s Office. That could make it difficult for family members to get information on their loved ones, said Mark Thomas, president of the Oklahoma Press Association. Thomas said he continues to work with law enforcement and the District Attorneys Council on compromise language that would allow public access to the government records and not jeopardize investigations. "We don’t want to be an impediment to solving crimes,” Thomas said. "But there are times when the public needs to be confronted with the facts, there is a very dangerous killer living in our midst. It’s a balancing act.” Officials are looking at laws in several different states for examples of how to keep pertinent details under wraps. Sunne Riedl Day, legal counsel for OSBI, said there are several states that limit the release of information from autopsy reports. The agency is currently looking at Iowa state laws that allow an autopsy report to be released to family members upon request, unless disclosure would jeopardize an investigation. The measure now goes to the full Senate for consideration.