Man charged with vehicular manslaughter, moving woman’s body

Van Buren County

PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — The man accused of hitting a Decatur-area woman with his car and then moving her body was arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Colby Delea Martin was charged with manslaughter with a motor vehicle, failure to stop at the scene of an accident when at fault resulting in death and concealing the death of an individual in the case. Bond was set at $300,000 cash or surety.

He is accused of hitting Melody Rohrer, 64, with his car Monday as she walked along County Road 215 near Territorial Road in Van Buren County’s Hamilton Township. The sheriff says Martin then moved Rohrer’s body, leaving it in some woods in St. Joseph County.

An undated courtesy photo of Melody Rohrer.

Rohrer was reported missing when she never returned home from her walk. Deputies who responded to the area where she had last been seen found evidence she had been hit. Sheriff Dan Abbott said his deputies took the case personally and worked tirelessly to develop a suspect.

A Sept. 21, 2021, booking photo of Colby Martin from the Van Buren County Jail.

Their investigation led them to Martin, 29, of White Pigeon. Abbott said Martin wasn’t helpful initially, but ultimately told deputies where the could find Rohrer’s body, which they recovered Tuesday afternoon.

Martin was arrested.

Michigan State Police records show he pleaded guilty in 2011 to a misdemeanor count of operating while intoxicated.

He is expected back in court on the manslaughter case Oct. 6.

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