RNJ News Department

Hopatcong man lived in house with dead body for 3 days, police say

HOPATCONG BOROUGH, NJ (Sussex County) – A Hopatcong man is charged with failing to report a death after he allegedly did drugs while the person he lived with was dead in the house.

According to police, a female came into police headquarters on March 21 to report a suspicious text by the father of her child. She was concerned for him and a 52-year-old female at the residence, Hopatcong Police Lt. Thomas Kmetz said.

Officers went to the home and when they couldn’t get an answer, they found a neighbor with a key. When police entered the home, they found Matthew Schmarr, 35, in bed and across from him in another bed was the deceased body of the 52-year-old female, Kmetz said.

The investigation revealed that Schmarr was with a juvenile in his care from Saturday March 18, 2017 through Sunday March 19, 2017, Kmetz said.

On March 18, Schmarr was driven to Paterson where he picked up heroin, crack cocaine, and cocaine. The child was not with him when he bought it, however, the child was in the home when he used the drugs on Saturday, Kmetz said.

Sometime Saturday night into Sunday morning, the female died. Schmarr had the inclination that she was dead but did not check on her. Around 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. on March 19, when the child was picked up, Schmarr checked on the woman and found her deceased, Kmetz said.

“Schmarr then used more drugs and passed out. Schmarr woke up the next day and took more drugs,” Kmetz said.

On March 20, Schmarr contacted a friend who came over and he showed his friend the deceased female. The friend told him he had to call the police and he refused to listen to his friend.

Schmarr turned on the air conditioning in the room and looked up death/decomposition on his phone. He rearranged pill bottles next to the deceased to make it look like it was a suicide. He then took the deceased’s laptop and sold it to a taxi driver he knew. The laptop was later recovered by the detectives, Kmetz said.

Schmarr lived in the home and slept in the same room with the deceased, until officers woke him up on March 21 at 9:13 p.m., Kmetz said.

The cause of death was not released.

Schmarr was arrested for outstanding warrants in the amount of $2,089.00 total from Roxbury and Hopatcong. On April 6, He was charged with failure to report a death, child neglect and other charges are possibly pending by the Sussex County Prosecutors office. He remained lodged in the Sussex County Jail.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook