A Gloucester County man and his son have been charged with desecration of human remains after burying the body of a man in the woods, ending a two-year search for the victim, state police said yesterday.
Lee Strater, 55, of Sewell, and Brandon Strater, 24, of Daytona Beach, Fla., were arrested Tuesday. The men are accused of burying the body of Joseph Butterworth, 29, of Haddon Heights, who was reported missing in July 2008.
A hunter found Butterworth's bones while walking in Wharton State Forest near Route 542 in Washington Township on Dec. 11, police said. It is unclear how or when Butterworth died.
Butterworth was last seen on July 18, 2008, with Brandon Strater, who was interviewed during the initial missing-persons case. Butterworth's car was found in October 2008 about three miles from where his body was eventually found.
Lee Strater was released yesterday from Burlington County Jail after posting $25,000 bail. Brandon Strater remains in the Volusia County (Fla.) Jail pending extradition.
Desecration of human remains carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.
- Daily News staff report