Man tells Channel 9 he regrets burying body in shallow grave behind home

CONOVER, N.C. — Robert Pippen told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty that he dug a shallow grave in his backyard after a man had overdosed in the home instead of calling 911.

He told Faherty Thursday afternoon that he regrets that decision.

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

The body was identified on Wednesday as 54-year-old Richard Morris, who was last seen at a family member’s home in June 2021.

“He was a good man, no matter what,” said Angelica Hall, a friend of Morris. “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 Thursday 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.

No one has been charged in connection with Morris’ death.

Faherty asked Conover Police Chief Eric Loftin about any potential charges.

“It’s against the North Carolina general statues to bury someone in your backyard,” Loftin said.

“But you still need the results of the autopsy?” Faherty asked.

“We need to know (what) the cause of death is, because we have a death investigation, but we don’t know what the cause of that death is,” Loftin said.

The police said they aren’t sure when they’ll get the final autopsy results and plan on consulting with the district attorney on any charges in the case.

VIDEO: Remains found in shallow grave behind Conover home have been identified