Legislation to explicitly criminalize necrophilia stems from heinous 2021 murder of Melody Rohrer — a beloved wife, mother and grandmother 


LANSING, Mich. (April 24, 2024) — Today, Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe) introduced Senate Bills 841843, collectively known as “Melody’s Law,” to explicitly outlaw necrophilia. This bill’s introduction follows the despicable 2021 murder of Michigan resident Melody Rohrer. Mrs. Rohrer was a cherished member of her community — a light to her family, a soulmate to her husband Richard, a best friend to her daughters Brooke and Jill, a devoted grandmother, sister, daughter, and friend. Tragically, after her murder, she was also the victim of a heinous act of sexual assault.

“With the introduction of this legislation, we are fighting for justice for victims like Melody, and family members left behind to reckon with a deep loss,” said Sen. Klinefelt. “Michiganders should have the peace of mind knowing that there are laws protecting their loved ones, even in death. While topics such as these are not comfortable to discuss, we as legislators must stand up to confront the glaring loopholes in our laws to ensure perpetrators of heinous crimes are held accountable.”

Despite being found guilty in July 2023 of first-degree murder, concealing the death of an individual, and failing to stop at the scene of an accident, the perpetrator of Mrs. Rohrer’s murder and subsequent assault was not charged with necrophilia because the act is not currently illegal under Michigan law.

To rectify this issue, Sen. Klinefelt worked with Mrs. Rohrer’s husband and daughters to draft Melody’s Law. The legislation ensures that those convicted of this horrific act are held accountable by amending the Michigan Penal Code, PA 328 of 1931, to make the act of necrophilia punishable by up to 15 years in prison and require perpetrators to register in the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR).

These bills have been assigned to the Senate Committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety.