Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

NJ Man Found With Mummified Remains in Closet to Remain Jailed

photo of Robert Williams
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What to Know

  • A man authorities say had mummified remains stashed in his closet has pleaded not guilty to child sex abuse charges
  • The attorney for Robert Williams entered the plea Monday, and a judge ordered him to remain jailed until his trial
  • Williams was arrested this month after police received reports that the 53-year-old Newark resident had been abusing a 13-year-old child

A New Jersey man authorities say had mummified remains stashed in his closet has pleaded not guilty to child sex abuse charges.

The attorney for Robert Williams entered the plea Monday, and a judge ordered him to remain jailed until his trial.

Williams was arrested this month after police received reports that the 53-year-old Newark resident had been abusing a 13-year-old child for several months.

When authorities executed a search warrant of his home Thursday, they found mummified human remains in a bin in his closet and "an unknown deity in his bedroom," according to the Essex County prosecutor's office.

The deity, it turns out, was stationed at an altar that may have been used in the practicing of voodoo or Santeria. Also at the altar: a voodoo toll and tambourines, animal horns, beads, castles, a picture of a crucifixion and a statue of Aunt Jemima (yes, the icon of pancake syrup). The mummified remains were just a head and torso; dozens of more bones were found in containers throughout his apartment, the law enforcement sources said. They have yet to be identified.

Cops initially presumed the bones had been stolen from a cemetery, but Williams reported he had bought them on the Internet. It's not clear where those alleged purchases were made or whose remains they are.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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