Associated Press

Man Charged After Hiding Friend's Body in Stranger's Yard

A man has been charged with concealing a dead body after a family returning home from a trip to a beach found a man's body in the front yard of their Spotsylvania County home, the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office says.

Scott Mattice, 48, was going to get his lawn mower when he found the body of Deandre Miller-Caldwell, 23, next to his family's front porch Sunday morning, The Free Lance-Star reports. Mattice said his family noticed a smell when they returned from Virginia Beach, but weren't initially sure what it was. 

Authorities say the victim was a passenger in a car that crashed into a ditch in front of the family's home three days earlier.

According to the sheriff's office, Caldwell was a passenger in Jarred Smith's car Thursday. At some point, Caldwell loss consciousness and Smith lost control of the car, crashing it into a ditch.

Concerned residents came to their aid and saw Caldwell in the ditch. Smith told them that his friend was intoxicated. Investigators say Caldwell used heroin that night. 

Investigators believe Smith hid Caldwell's body, moving him to an area where he could not be seen from the road. But the remains were found by Mattice when he and his family returned home from vacation. 

Smith was arrested and has been charged with concealing a dead body.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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