Family: NJ man caught on camera desecrating their mother's grave in Rockland County
A family says a Bergen County man was caught on video in the act of urinating on their matriarch's grave in Rockland County last Sunday.
Michael Murphy said his late mother, Linda Torello, is the man's ex-wife.
"I could see him up there like this and I could hear the urine hitting the ground and my heart..." Murphy recounted, choking up as he described what he witnessed last Sunday, when he shot a video and caught the man who'd been desecrating his mother's grave.
"I promised my wife and kids the day before, I promised my sisters, because I was fuming, I would not hurt the man. But we wanted to do it the right way, we thought we'd get justice this way," Murphy said.
It all started back in April when Murphy and his sister started finding deli bags filled with feces near their mother's headstone.
They initially thought it may have been left behind by a careless dog walker or a dog owner. But after the second bag was found, they knew they'd been left there intentionally.
"We contacted the police," Murphy continued. "They came and took a report, and they said, 'If you find another one, let us know.' So we found another one a couple of weeks later."
Murphy and his family then got the greenlight from Tappan Cemetery in Rockland County, where their mother is buried, to install cameras to catch the culprit.
Camera timestamps showed the man coming to grave while his wife waited in the car around 6:15 a.m. for four consecutive days last week.
On the fifth day, Murphy propped his camera on a nearby headstone and shot the video and confirmed the culprit was his deceased mother's ex-husband, who she'd divorced over four decades ago.
"There's been no contact since '76," Murphy said. "I know they were married for a year they had a bad break. This should never happen to anybody."
Right now, it's unclear to the family why or even how long this has been going on, but Murphy and his family want more serious charges than just public urination and hope for legislation that will make it a crime.
"No one should ever endure what I and my family had to endure," Murphy said.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to police and the cemetery but did not hear back as of Sunday night.