Police in Van Buren County, Michigan are reporting that a man purposely struck a jogger with his vehicle so that he could have sex with her dead body.
The incident occurred on September 20th outside of the Oak Shores Campgrounds.
Authorities say 29-year-old Colby Martin ran over 64-year-old Melody Rohrer and then moved her body 26 miles southwest from the location she was killed.
Rohrer’s family reported her missing after she failed to return from her daily walk. While searching the area where she normally walks, investigators noticed a few of Rohrer’s belongings on the ground:
‘Upon looking around the area where she normally walks, one of the deputies found some items that belonged to her and skid marks and it was quite obviously she’d been hit by a vehicle,’ Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Abbott said in September.
Authorities noticed that Rohrer’s cellphone was missing and began to track it.
They were led to a Walmart parking lot in Oshtemo Township where they encountered Martin.
Investigators say Martin was sitting in a 2013 Ford F-150 ‘severe’ front-end damage. When they approached him, Martin attempted to conceal several items that connected him including Rohrer’s missing cellphone.
Martin then reportedly led police to Rohrer’s body which was hidden in a large wooded area.
He was taken into custody and charged with manslaughter with a motor vehicle, failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death when at fault and concealing the death of an individual.
He was then released on a $300,000 bail.
Authorities however, continued to investigate the incident and found that right after Robrer was reported missing, Martin reportedly searched pornography involving dead or unconscious women.
They then found that condoms recovered from Martin’s vehicle and in a trashcan near his home, had both his and Rohrer’s DNA.
After hearing the new facts in the case, the judge reported that there is probable cause to open murder charge:
“That is a very different set of facts,” Van Buren County District Court Judge Michael McKay said during Wednesday’s arraignment. ‘There is probable cause to believe that the defendant intentionally struck the victim with the vehicle, took her body [and] engaged in sexual acts with the body,’ he said.
Martin was arrested at his girlfriend’s home in Big Rapids last week to face the new charges.
His attorney, Jim Mequio, said, however, that the allegations should not justify the new charges.
“We’re still waiting for reports and more evidence from the prosecutor’s office. From a legal standpoint, I’m not seeing the increase in charges will be justified,” he said.