According to a published report by the Hickory Daily Record’s website, a Conover man told police he buried a man in the backyard of his home after the deceased suffered a fatal overdose.
Robert Vaughn Pippin, whose last name was spelled as Pippen in some places of investigation documents, told Catawba County Sheriff’s Office investigators in September that he buried the body of Conover resident Richard Lee Morris and showed officers where Morris was buried. Morris was 54 at the time he was reported missing in August 2021.
The investigation has also revealed that Pippin received payments from Morris’ disability account.
Officers seized three shovels, a wallet with various cards, two cellphones and mail from the residence, according to the inventory included with the warrant.
Conover Police are heading the investigation. Chief Eric Loftin says the department is awaiting autopsy results and will then submit its case file to District Attorney Scott Reilly’s office for review.