New Jersey

NJ Man Spent Days Getting High in Home With Corpse: Police

A 35-year-old New Jersey man is facing charges after a woman who lived with him died and he continued to reside with her corpse and use drugs for several days, police say.

Hopatcong Police say Matthew Schmarr spent three days getting high while the body of the 52-year-old woman lay nearby.

Officers checked on Schmarr last month after the mother of the child went to police reporting said she received a suspicious text message from him. She said she was worried about him and the woman he lived with.

When officers entered the Hudson Avenue home they found Schmarr passed out in bed. Across from him in another bed was the corpse of the 52-year-old woman.

Police say Schmarr bought heroin, crack and cocaine in Paterson before the morbid three-day period that he spent with the corpse.

Schmarr had allegedly discovered the woman was dead on Saturday, March 18, but did not alert police. Instead, according to investigators, he continued to use drugs. 

On Monday, March 20, he showed the corpse to a friend, who advised him to call police. But instead, police say Schmarr turned on an air conditioner and researched decomposition on his cell phone. Police said he also arranged prescription pill bottles around the woman's body to make her death look like a suicide.

Moreover, police say Schmarr sold the woman’s laptop to a taxi driver he knew.

Schmarr continued to live in the home and sleep in the same room with the corpse until officers woke him up on March 21.

He was arrested for outstanding warrants from Roxbury and Hopatcong and later charged with failure to report a death and child neglect. Police said the latter charge stemmed from Schmarr taking drugs in the company of a child that he was caring for at some point during the three-day stretch.

Police said possible additional charges by the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office are pending.

The woman’s exact cause of death has yet to be determined.

Contact Us