What would you do if someone were leaving feces and urine on your late mother's gravesite?
In the case of New Jersey man Michael Murphy, you use a phone to take covert video surveillance of the area and then find out the culprit is your mom's ex-husband from nearly 50 years ago.
After finding bags of feces and a smell of urine on their mom Linda Torello's grave, Murphy and his sister Renee Eichler Barragan did some investigative work like noting the bags the feces were left in, alerting the police and viewing blurry CCTV from the cemetary in neighboring Rockland County, New York.
However, it wasn't until Murphy and his sister set up a phone to record the culprit that they were able to get a good look at who was doing such a disrespectful act with such regularity. It was, they allege, their mother's ex-husband, who now lives a few towns over.
Torello died in 2017. Barragan identified the man as her biological father who became estranged from the family in 1976.
Murphy posted the video on his Facebook page with a note.
"THIS IS BREAKING MY 💔"
A man from Bergen county New Jersey has been leaving bags of poo and pissing on my mother's tombstone almost every morning like a normal routine assisted by his wife also, we have Weeks and months of evidence."
"It has been reported to the police and the news outlets no one in my family has had contact with him since 1976 or so🤬 how he found my mothers gravesite we are not sure, but this stems back to a problem almost 50 years ago."
"Pray for us thank you and please share this!!!"
Barragan also shared the story on her Facebook page.
"Thank you for all your prayers this week!!!
"We finally were able to identify and take action against the 'person' that was desecrating my mothers grave."
"Sadly it’s my birth father that has pulled away from the family in 1976."
"Guess he is still mad at my mother and decide payback."
"To answer many pms I’m getting, yes he has lived in Bergenfield his whole life so many of you will recognize him."
Reactions to the video on Facebook swung in two directions.
First, some expressed shock and anger at the man's action.
Another vocal set of responses to the video were those discussing how Murphy has more restraint than them—saying what they might do were they in Murphy's place.
A 68-year-old Bergenfield, New Jersey man was ticketed for public urination by Orangetown police just after 6 a.m. on Sept. 18, according to the Rockland County New York District Attorney’s Office.
The man's name was not revealed by the siblings or the police.
In follow-up posts and in statements to the media, Murphy asked people to pray for the culprit and his wife.
Murphy added he hopes to get a Linda's Law established to make such desecration a crime.
These acts were appalling.
Murphy can only wait for the wheels of justice to address this disrespectful act at his mother's grave.