NJ man got high while woman’s dead body rotted at home, cops say
HOPATCONG — When police entered a home on a wellness check, they found the man they were looking for in bed. What they had not expected was to find a woman he was living with dead in the same room.
Lt. Thomas Kmetz said police were alerted to the situation last month by a woman who said she received a text message from her child's father.
The man, later identified as 35-year-old Matthew Schmarr, was living with a 52-year-old woman whose body police found.
After being unable to contact anyone at the home, police said they got a key from a neighbor, which is when they found Schmarr and the dead woman.
Prior to police finding Schmarr and the woman on March 21, they said he was caring for a child on March 18 and 19.
During the time the child was in his care, police said Schmarr was driven to Paterson where he got various drugs including heroin and cocaine. Kmetz said the child was not with him when he bought the drugs, but was in the house when he used them.
Kmetz said Schmarr believed the woman had died either late that Saturday night or early Sunday morning. It was not until Sunday evening that Kmetz said he checked to confirm that the woman was dead. Rather than calling police, Kmetz said he "used more drugs and passed out."
On the morning of Monday, March 20, Kmetz said Schmarr took more drugs and called a friend to the house to show him the body. At that time the friend said he should call police but that he decided not to. After the friend left, Kmetz said Schmarr turned on the air conditioning in the room and looked up "death/decomposition" on his phone while arranging pill bottles near the woman to make it look like a suicide.
Kmetz said he also sold the woman's laptop to a cab driver he knew, but that police were able to recover the computer later.
Schmarr was arrested and charged with failure to report a death, child neglect, and other pending charges. Kmetz said Schmarr could also face charges from the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office.
Kmetz said he was arrested on outstanding warrants out of Roxbury and Hopatcong totaling more than $2,000. The Roxbury charges include driving on the revoked list and failure to make proper disposition of a controlled dangerous substance.
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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com