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Suspect Charged With Breaking Into Ex’s House, Dumping Her Deceased Child’s Ashes Into Garbage

Mount Pleasant, SC – A South Carolina woman’s ex-boyfriend has been arrested for allegedly breaking into her home and dumping the cremated remains of her deceased child into the garbage, according to police.

The suspect was not the child’s father.

The investigation into the home invasion began on Sept. 5, when the woman called Mount Pleasant police to report that she had been gone for two days and returned to find her house trashed, WCIV reported.

Security footage allegedly showed the woman’s ex-boyfriend, 33-year-old Joseph Oberlies, approaching her residence on Dingle Road at approximately 3 a.m. on Sept. 3.

The woman and her children were not home at the time, according to police.

Oberlies entered the house after typing in a security code, but exited just minutes later, WCIV reported.

He returned to the house at approximately 4 a.m. and remained inside until shortly before 8 a.m., security footage showed.

When the homeowner returned to her residence two days later, she discovered someone had taken a hammer to her flatscreen television, WCIV reported.

She said she then realized that the intruder had taken the cremated ashes of her deceased child from a prior marriage, removed the lid off of the urn, and dumped some of the ashes into the trash, according to WCSC.

The victim told investigators that she and Oberlies dated for just a few months before they broke up earlier this summer, WCIV reported.

She ultimately ended up having him trespassed from her property on Aug. 23, according to police.

The victim said Oberlies did not know that she and her children wouldn’t be home when he entered her house without permission, and that she was frightened to think about what he might have done if they were there, police said.

“I’m afraid he would have killed us if we were here,” she told police, according to WCSC.

According to the homeowner, Oberlies was out on bond at the time of the break in due to having allegedly stabbed another one of his ex-girlfriends on Aug. 5, WCIV reported.

He was charged with first-degree assault and battery in connection with that incident.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department (MPPD) confirmed the suspect was out on $115,000 bond for assaulting jail staff with bodily fluids and first-degree assault and battery at the time of the break in, WCBD reported.

Investigators said that while they were at the scene of the home invasion, Oberlies texted the victim and told her not to press charges against him.

Police tracked Oberlies down and questioned him about the burglary, WCIV reported.

He initially claimed he was in another town when the break in occurred, according to police.

Investigators showed him the security footage that contradicted his claims, at which point he allegedly told them he had been “black-out drunk” that night and that he couldn’t remember anything that occurred, WCIV reported.

Oberlies was booked into the Al Cannon Detention Center on charges of destruction of human remains and first-degree burglary.

He was released on $60,000 bond later the same day, WCIV reported.

The victim said she no longer feels safe in her home and that she has been staying with family members, according to WCBD.

She said she has also petitioned the court for a restraining order against Oberlies.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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