Grand jury indicts mother, son after body found in shallow grave behind home

CONOVER, N.C. — A grand jury has indicted a Conover man and his mother after a person was found in a shallow grave in their backyard, according to police.

Robert Pippen and his mother, Emily Pippen, were arrested on Friday and served with the indictments. They are both being charged with concealment of death. Robert received a $10,000 secured bond and Emily received a $1,000 secured bond.

Robert told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty what happened in October and that he regrets his decision.

Police found human remains on Sept. 16 at the home along Fourth Avenue Southwest.

The body was identified as 54-year-old Richard Morris, who was last seen at a family member’s home in June 2021. An autopsy found Morris died from methamphetamine toxicity. Conover Police presented the results to a grand jury and the Pippins were arrested as a result.

“He was a good man, no matter what,” said Angelica Hall, a friend of Morris, said in October. “He was someone you could rely on, and he’d be there for you.”

Hall said she still can’t believe someone buried her friend in a backyard.

Deputies went to the home after learning someone was withdrawing money from Morris’ disability account after he was reported missing, according to court documents.

Pippen told deputies that Morris had overdosed and that he had buried the body in the backyard, according to court documents.

Pippen admitted to Faherty that he took some disability money after burying Morris in the yard.

“I would like to know for sure what happened and what was going through a young man’s mind,” Hall said. “(Pippen) should have at least called someone, called (anyone), you know?”

Pippen told Faherty that he had his own legal troubles and that’s why he didn’t call the police.

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