Man charged after family finds dead body in yard

Published: Aug. 6, 2018 at 2:24 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2018 at 6:09 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FREDERICKSBURG, VA (WWBT) - A Virginia family says they returned from vacation to find a man's dead body in their yard, and now a man is charged with concealing the body.

The Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office said they were called around 11:20 a.m. on Sunday to the 11300 block of Enchanted Woods Way for the report of a dead body.

The Free Lance-Star reports that 48-year-old Scott Mattice discovered the body next to his family's front porch Sunday morning, when he went to get the mower. He says the family had noticed a smell when they returned from Virginia Beach, but weren't initially sure what it was.

"It's shocking," Mattice said. "You just have to stay calm and deal with the situation."

Mattice said his wife had gotten a text from a neighbor Thursday night stating a vehicle had crashed into the ditch in front of their house, but didn't think anything of it.

"It's been a joke that every time we go on vacation something strange happens at the house," Mattice said.

Deputies and detectives said Jarred Smith, 23, of Locust Grove, was driving when he lost control of the vehicle and veered off the roadway and into the ditch. Deandre Miller-Caldwell, 23, of Spotsylvania, was a passenger and lost consciousness at some point before the crash.

Concerned citizens stopped at the crash scene to help and saw Caldwell lying in the ditch, but Smith told them that Caldwell was his intoxicated friend who was lying there.

During the investigation, police found that Caldwell had used Heroin and lost consciousness at some point Thursday night.

Deputies believe Smith hid Caldwell's body near the family's home, away from the crash site before deputies got to the scene of the crash.

More than 60 hours later Mattice and his family arrived back home.

"I came out to cut the grass which is kind of tall and as I walked around my front porch area to get to where I store my lawnmower I found a smartwatch," he said.

That's when he caught a whiff of a distinct odor.

"I detected a strong odor and when I looked up from that, that's when I saw a black male, deceased on my property," Mattice said.

Mattice called 911 immediately, and told them about his grisly discovery, and that's when the forensic unit was called out to the home

"We called it a live CSI event, because [my family] watch[es] CSI all the time," he said.

Now Mattice is working to clean up the scene, laying down lime in order to cut through the stench.

He's also keeping in mind the people who have been affected by this situation.

"You've got two broken families going through this right now," he added. "Through some tragic times, and it's going to be [tough] on them."

Smith is charged with concealing a dead body and is being held in the regional jail without bond.

Investigators have not said why Smith hid the body.

Caldwell's body has been taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The Associated Press contributed to this post. 

Copyright 2018 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

Report an Error or Submit a Tip to NBC12