Remembering Chloe: SB 66 could provide protection for families of murder victims

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HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) — Some Kentucky lawmakers filed a bill that could provide additional rights and protections for the families of murder victims.

State Senator Robby Mills filed Senate Bill 66, backed by Republican Representative Suzanne Miles and Democratic Representative Rob Wiederstein. The bill, also proposed as the “Chloe Randolph Act” could prevent murder suspects from claiming the body of a victim after a crime.

“She was funny. She didn’t stray away from anybody, she would help anyone even if she didn’t get that in return.”

Now, the family of Chloe Randolph is working hard to pass on the activist spirit they so loved about her.

20-year-old Chloe lost her life in a brutal attack in Henderson in 2019.

Her estranged husband is now facing murder charges.

But after Chloe’s death, and the suspect’s arrest, the family’s fight had only just started.

“When Chloe was murdered, we tried to get her body back,” her father Jay Randolph says.

But they couldn’t, because a little-known Kentucky law that gives a spouse control of remains, even if they’re involved in the victim’s death.

“To be told there’s a law on the books that gives the murderer five days to control the body… is like another smack in the face.”

So the Randolphs did what Chloe might do.

“She was very outspoken,” says Kristie Randolph.

“She was an activist in her own way.”

They took action and called on lawmakers for a change.

“They wanted to change it immediately. That is something that they said should be done away with.”

For State Senator Robby Mills and the bipartisan team behind the bill, there is no party divide when it comes to helping families like the Randolphs.

“When there’s a gap in the law that causes suffering in people’s lives, it needs to be remediated, and we promised that to the Randolph family and to the extended family of Chloe, and we’re trying to follow through on that promise.”

Senate Bill 66 gives adult children, and then parents, the right to claim remains instead of the spouse in situations like Chloe’s.

“We hope that nothing like Chloe ever happens again, but the reality is, it’s going to. And we don’t want any families, parents siblings, anybody to have to deal with that.”

The Randolphs were eventually able to lay Chloe to rest, but only because the suspect waived his rights.

“It was a hard five days. And we just knew we needed to change it.”

These days, the Randolphs watch Chloe’s son Slim as he plays and grows.

They continue to fight for change in her name through the Chloe Randolph Organization. The group is working towards bringing a domestic violence shelter to Henderson. They have planned numerous events, including a walk to Shatter the Silence on Domestic Violence on March 21st.

“We can’t bring her back. But we can change it for other families.”

The next step is a committee hearings and votes in both the House and Senate.

If it passes, it will go to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

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(This story was originally published on January 8, 2020)

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