Dead body found in dog house behind Andover Township home

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ANDOVER, NJ – An Andover family noticed something not right under their deck. Inside the dog house below, was a human body and they didn’t know how it got there. Now police have solved the mystery.

The Andover Township Police Department with the assistance of the Delaware State Police arrested Brian Cheda-Hackembruch, age 25 of Andover Township, and Matthew R. Thomas, age 27 of Newton for disturbing or desecrating human remains, a crime of the second degree.

Police said that on July 3, 2021 at approximately 12:00 PM, the department responded to a report of a deceased body being left under the deck area of a residence located on West Lakeview Road. Upon arrival at the residence, officers were met by family members who informed them a body was left in a doghouse underneath the deck area.

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“The detective and officers began to check the area under the deck when they did indeed confirm a deceased body was contained within the doghouse,” the department said. “The scene was immediately secured which included closing down portions of West Lakeview Road and Hilltop Road in order to process the scene. Members of the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office and the New Jersey State Police Crime Scene Unit were requested to the scene to assist.”


Cheda-Hackembruch and Thomas left the scene prior to the arrival of the officers. Shortly after, they had called 9-1-1 reaching the Sussex County 911 Communications Center and reported the body being under the deck of a residence on West Lakeview Road.

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A broadcast had been sent to area police agencies in order to attempt to locate Cheda-Hackembruch’s vehicle and Thomas with negative results.

On July 5, 2021, detectives from Andover Township Police and the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office received information on the whereabouts of Cheda-Hackembruch and Thomas. Troopers from the Delaware State Police were notified and coordinated with detectives in locating and apprehending both Cheda-Hackembruch and Thomas without incident. They were taken into custody and lodged at a local correctional facility in Delaware while they await extradition proceedings back to New Jersey.

So what happened?

Cheda-Hackembruch and Thomas had removed the body from a residence in Hopatcong following the victim’s death due to a medical emergency. They then placed the victim in the trunk of a vehicle belonging to the victim. A towing company was summoned to remove the vehicle from the property and brought the vehicle to Andover Township where the vehicle was offloaded on the street near West Lakeview Road.

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The body of the victim was then later removed from the trunk of the vehicle and placed under the deck within the doghouse where the body was later discovered. There is no foul play suspected at this time surrounding the victim’s death and the investigation is ongoing into the details as to the removal of the deceased body.