Man Caught Urinating, Defecating on Ex-Wife's Grave: 'Bad Breakup'
A New Jersey man was caught urinating on his ex-wife's grave nearly five decades after their divorce.
Michael Andrew Murphy was horrified as he captured the desecration on September 18. The gravesite in the Tappan Reformed Church Cemetery in Orangetown, New York, was the resting place of his mother, Linda Torello.
Murphy told local news outlets that his mother's ex-husband was leaving feces and urine at his mother's headstone for months, apparently holding onto a grudge from the 1970s. The suspect, 68-year-old Dean Eichler, was briefly married to Torello before they divorced in 1974.
"There's been no contact since '76. I know they were married for a year. They had a bad breakup," Murphy told News 12 New Jersey. "This should never happen to anybody."
He said he and his sister started finding deli bags filled with feces at their mother's grave in April. They figured the first one might have been dropped by a careless dog walker, but after the second bag, they got the police involved.
The cemetery allowed them permission to set up cameras, which recently revealed Eichler approaching the grave while his current wife waited in the car. The culprit continued to appear around 6:15 a.m. for four days in a row, but the images were not totally clear.
The next day, on September 18, Murphy visited the cemetery and filmed the man with his cell phone. What he saw made him feel ill, he said on Facebook, where he posted the incriminating video.
"This is breaking my [heart]," said his caption. "A man from Bergen county New Jersey has been leaving bags of poo and pissing on my mother's tombstone almost every morning like a normal routine assisted by his wife. Also, we have weeks and months of evidence."
In a follow-up video, he said, "I'm sick. My sisters, my brothers, we're drained."
The Orangetown Police Department confirmed to the Daily Voice that Eichler has received a summons for urinating in public and detectives are investigating further, and there's a possibility of more serious charges.
Cemetery desecration, which may involve stealing from or vandalizing a plot, grave or burial place, can be prosecuted in New York state if the damages exceed $250.
Murphy has met this threshold for damages after hiring a hazmat company to remove his mother's urine-soaked decorations, having her headstone professionally cleaned and replacing some of the surrounding grass, he told the Daily Voice.
Newsweek reached out to Murphy and the Orangetown Police Department for comment.
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