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Find a dead body? New laws would require you to report it to police

David Goehring
One bill in the Michigan Senate would make failure to report the discovery a dead body a misdemeanor; a second bill would make failing to report a body for the purpose of fraud a felony.

If you discover a dead body in Michigan, you’re not legally required to report it to police. That would change under a proposal making its way through the state Senate.

Timothy McMorrow is the chief appellate attorney for the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office.

"We had a case where a woman died in an apartment.  Her boyfriend, with whom she lived, did not  report it," McMorrow explains. "It was discovered about four days later when the woman's daughter came looking for her mother, wondering where she was, and was told that her mother had died."

McMorrow says that’s when it was discovered  there is no state law requiring such a death be reported.

Two measures were approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.

One would make failing to report a dead body a misdemeanor.

The other would make it a felony to conceal a death with the intent to perpetrate a fraud, such as collecting benefits under that person’s name.