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A bill authored by State Senator Mark Messmer was unanimously passed by the Senate.

Senate Bill 177 would permit the immediate family of a deceased individual to request a new investigation by the Indiana State Police into the cause of death of their relative. The ISP would not be required to open a new investigation but would be obligated to review the request.

Messmer authored this legislation after meeting with the family of Kristy Kelley, a constituent of Senate District 48, who went missing and was later found deceased weeks later, having been submerged inside her car in a pond. Local law enforcement ruled Kelley’s death an accident, but her family had many questions, including why her car was in Park and what caused the extensive damage to her vehicle before entering the water.

This legislation specifies that the families must meet reasonable suspicion standards by providing relevant facts and instances drawn from those facts in order to request the re-opening of an investigation.

Senate Bill 177 will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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