Man caught on camera urinating on ex-wife’s grave, family says

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 2:42 AM EDT

BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. (News 12) - A New Jersey man is in shock after he says he caught his mother’s ex-husband urinating on her grave while investigating months of desecration.

Michael Murphy choked up as he described what he witnessed last Sunday at Tappan Cemetery in Rockland County. He shot video of the man who has allegedly been desecrating the grave of his mother, Linda Torello.

“I could see him up there like this, and I could hear the urine hitting the ground,” Murphy said. “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.”

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 dog owner, but after the second bag was found, they knew they’d been left there intentionally.

“We contacted the police. They came and took a report and said if you find another one, let us know. So, we found another one a couple of weeks later,” Murphy said.

Murphy and his family then got the greenlight from the cemetery to install cameras to catch the culprit. Camera timestamps recently showed a man coming to the grave with his wife waiting in the car around 6:15 a.m. for four consecutive days.

On the fifth day, Murphy propped his camera on a nearby headstone and shot video of the suspect, a man he says is his mother’s ex-husband, whom she divorced four decades ago.

“There’s been no contact since ‘76. I know they were married for a year. They had a bad breakup. This should never happen to anybody,” Murphy said.

Right now, it’s unclear to Torello’s family why or even how long this has been going on, but they want more serious charges than just public urination. They also hope legislation could make this a crime.

“No one should ever endure what I and my family had to endure,” Murphy said.