Jeremiah Raber from Return to Amish was adopted by an Amish family. Now, Jeremiah finds out that his Aunt murdered his biological father.

There are many twists and turns in this story, so buckle up… because Jeremiah now blames himself for the death of his dad.

The following is the transcript from the Return to Amish podcast by Soap Dirt. You can listen to it below on Spotify or wherever you get your podcast from.

Jeremiah Raber’s Tragic Backstory of Murder & Cheating on Return to Amish

Hey there, reality TV fans. This is Soap Dirt, and we’ve got an update for you on Jeremiah Raber. If you’ve been watching the show, you know he’s talked awhile about reconnecting with his birth family, and there’s been some confusion around that.

Return to Amish: Jeremiah Raber
Return to Amish: Jeremiah Raber

Jeremiah blames himself for the death of his biological father in the new season. His dad’s wife murdered him… This is all dark history and very interesting, and here’s the context you need when you’re watching these upcoming episodes of Return to Amish.

Jeremiah was adopted out at less than a year old, and his biological mother’s sister murdered his biological father. And it’s not the bio-father that he thought was his at first. So let’s dig into this. Jeremiah Raber, always thought Dennis was his biological father.

He’s been on past seasons. But then a DNA test showed that he was not. The truth is a whole lot darker. In fact, his biological father’s name is Larry Hiltabidel, and he was murdered and died on December 21, 1981.

Jeremiah’s Biological Father Murdered at Age 24 — By His Wife!

Jeremiah’s dad, Lawrence Hiltabidel, was only 24 at the time this happened. And his wife Sheila Hiltabidel was 29 at the time of the attack. It’s not entirely clear how much Larry knew about Jeremiah. Because he’d already been adopted away at this point.

Larry Hiltabidel
Larry Hiltabidel

It’s very interesting. So, Sheila Hiltabidel, who is Jeremiah’s father’s killer, had a sister named Sherry. Sheila was married to Jeremiah’s biological father, Larry, but then her sister Sherry, got pregnant, by her sister’s husband.

So, Jeremiah’s bio-mom Sherry got pregnant by Larry — while he was married to her sister Sheila. And, it looks like that Sheila found out about it, and that’s why she stabbed her husband.

Now, in this current season of Return to Amish, Jeremiah blames himself. He seems to think that because his bio mom had a kid with her brother-in-law, it got him killed. It may have been the affair. It may not have been just having a kid. But, this is all very messy.

Return to Amish – Murderous Wife Left Out of Larry Hiltabidel’s Obituary

We’ve got the obituary of Jeremiah Raber’s dad to read to you and it’s all very disturbing. The obituary reads: Lawrence Blaine Hiltabidel age 24, passed away December 21st at Barberton Citizens Hospital. It lists off that he is survived by parents, brothers, sisters, and grandmothers. Nowhere does it mention his wife.

Return to Amish: Sheila Hiltabidel
Return to Amish: Sheila Hiltabidel

And that makes sense because it was his wife that murdered him. So, his family probably didn’t want Sheila’s name in the obituary. Then, we have a news clipping from back then showing a 29-year-old woman was charged with murder in the Monday night, stabbing death of her husband in their home.

This is all Return to Amish backstory. That clip reads: Summit County Sheriff’s detectives said Sheila Hiltabidel allegedly stabbed her husband Lawrence once in the chest. He died at Barton Citizen’s Hospital at 11:52 PM About two hours later, detective Roy Mosley said, “We don’t know for sure what led up to the stabbing, but what we do know are some of the events that happened that night.”

Jeremiah Raber’s Birth & Adoption Timeline Coincides with Murder and Arrest

Jeremiah Raber was born in January 1980. Later that year, he was taken away from his biological mother. Then, nearly a year later in 1981, an Amish couple, Mystic and Aaron Raber adopted him.

Later that same year was when Jeremiah’s biological father was murdered. Larry Hiltabidel was out late with friends hanging out, came home about 10:00 PM. Then, his wife stabbed him once in the chest.

He made it out of the house to a neighbor’s, looking for help. They called 911 who took him to the hospital. Two hours later, he was dead. The cops arrested his wife, Sheila, quickly.

The court sent her to prison after she pled guilty. The conviction was voluntary manslaughter in early 1982. She got a plea deal with a 5-25 year sentence. But four years later, she was dead also. Sheila HIltabidel was 33 when she passed.

So we’re gonna learn more about this, this season on Return to Amish. But one of the things that Jeremiah says is my real father was probably murdered because of me.

Jeremiah Searched for Family on Return to Amish

Jeremiah Raber searched for his bio parents because he heard that he was part Native American. And he thought — oh, that’s a little tidbit from my biology.

So, that’s gonna be something that we’ll see this season on Return to Amish. For a long time, he thought that Sherry’s husband, Dennis, was his dad. And obviously, his mother didn’t let him in on the messy and murderous history that happened.

According to Jeremiah, while his mother was married to Dennis, she had an affair with her sister’s husband Larry. And that’s when she got pregnant. There’s some differing timelines. One points to Sherry being already pregnant by the time she met Dennis.

So, given that she wasn’t honest about what happened with her and her sister, Sheila, and this murder, it’s a big question of how much information Jeremiah has that’s factual.

The bottom line is what we know is that Jeremiah’s biological father has been dead since he was a baby. His murder occurred around the time the Rabers adopted Return to Amish star Jeremiah. And his mom kept secrets all this time.

And not only did she lose the biological father of her child, but she also lost her sister who killed the man that she had slept with. It’s almost too bizarre to be true.

Son Not to Blame for Parents’ Actions…

If anyone should blame themselves for this tragedy, it doesn’t seem like it should be Jeremiah Raber, does it? It almost seems like this is all at the doorstep of his biological mother, Sherry.

Now she’s presumably still with Dennis, her husband. And so it seems like they’ve made peace with it or something. So if it is true and the timeline is that she was pregnant when she met Dennis, then that makes more sense, more so than she was cheating and got pregnant.

But according to the trailer for the new season of Return to Amish, Jeremiah Raber is under the impression that it went a different way. So we’ll have to wait and see how that all unrolls.

You might remember on prior seasons, he met with Dennis and others from that side of the family. Then, he said it was a big mistake and things didn’t go very well. He’d hoped to find this new family and then everything fell apart.

So we’ll see more about what happens with Jeremiah Raber on the upcoming season of Return to Amish that kicks off this month.

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