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L-R: Robert Vaughn Pippin and Emily Shook Pippin
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Mother & Son Indicted In Connection To Alleged Concealment Of Body

Two suspects have been indicted in connection to alleged concealment of a body found in Catawba County in 2022. According to the Conover Police Department, earlier this month, a Grand Jury indicted 28-year-old Robert Vaughn Pippin of River Road in Hickory and his mother, 53-year-old Emily Shook Pippin of North Street in Lincolnton. They were both indicted on a charge of felony concealment or failure to report a death.

On September 16, 2022, The Conover Police Department received information about a body that was allegedly buried behind the residence located at 342 4th Avenue SW in Conover. Investigators were called to the scene and conducted a search of the premises with the assistance of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations (NCSBI). During the search, suspected human remains were found buried behind the residence.

The remains were sent to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for an autopsy. An autopsy was conducted on September 22, 2022. The remains were identified as 56-year-old Richard Lee Morris. Morris was reported missing by family members to the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office on August 26, 2021, and was reported to have been last seen June 2, 2021.

On April 11, 2023, the Conover Police Department received an Autopsy report from the NC State Medical Examiner’s Office, which lists the cause of death for Morris as methamphetamine toxicity. The Conover Police Department presented this information to the District Attorney’s Office.

Both Suspects were living at the residence in Conover where Morris’ body was buried. They were both arrested last Friday (May 5) and served with the indictments. Robert Pippen received a $10,000 secured bond and Emily Pippin received a $1,000 secured bond. Neither suspect is listed as an inmate in Catawba County today (May 9). They both had Superior Court appearances Monday (May 8).