Jeremiah Met His Biological Father's Mother on 'Return to Amish' and Learned About His Past

Chrissy Bobic - Author

May 10 2023, Updated 12:46 p.m. ET

Jeremiah Raber
Source: Instagram

Although Season 7 of Return to Amish introduced viewers to some brand new members of the Amish community who wanted to experience life in the "English" world, longtime star Jeremiah Raber was still at the center of the series at the time of filming.

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Since Season 6, a huge part of Jeremiah’s story has been locating his biological father. After he located a man he believed to be his father, Dennis, a DNA test revealed that was not the case.

However, Jeremiah finally has answers about the identity of his biological father, and sadly, it was not the news he wanted.

Was Jeremiah’s biological father murdered by his aunt?

Jeremiah's biological father, Lawrence Hiltabidel, in a photo from 'Return to Amish'
Source: TLC

Jeremiah's biological father, Lawrence Hiltabidel.

In a trailer for Season 7 of Return to Amish, Jeremiah revealed that his "real father was probably murdered because of me."

It turns out Jeremiah’s mom cheated on Dennis with her sister’s husband — and a year later he was killed by his wife in his sleep.

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"While my mother was married to Dennis. She had an affair with her sister’s husband," Jeremiah shared on the show. "And that’s when she became pregnant with me."

He went on to say he believes his birth was the reason for the murder, adding, "We believe it’s because she found out about me."

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Yahoo reports that Jeremiah’s aunt Sheila Hiltabidel was charged with the murder of her husband Lawrence in 1981, according to the The Akron Beach Journal.

Jeremiah was adopted into an Amish family.

As Jeremiah has explained before, when he was a year and a half old, he was adopted by an Amish family. And, while he lived the majority of his life in the Amish world, it didn't take Jeremiah long after entering adolescence for his curiosity about the English world and his birth family to get the best of him.

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In the inaugural season of Breaking Amish, he explored the world outside of the one he had grown up in, and it has always been important to him to learn where he comes from. He once helped fellow Return to Amish cast member Sabrina Burkholder connect with her own birth family since she, too, was adopted at a young age.

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Jeremiah connected with his birth grandmother on 'Return to Amish.'

Jeremiah and Dennis met up again during Season 7 despite their lack of a blood relation. And in one episode, Jeremiah finally met his birth grandmother, his father's mother. Jeremiah shared in the episode that he was worried she would blame him for the death of his father.

Instead, Jeremiah's grandmother expresses affection for him.

Jeremiah meets his biological grandmother on 'Return to Amish'
Source: TLC
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"Growing up Amish, I never got hugged," Jeremiah shared with producers. "And here I am, I'm getting an actual hug from my actual biological grandmother."

Jeremiah was able to see pld family photos and learn more about where he came from. He explained that meeting his grandmother put him in a "happy place."

Are Carmela and Jeremiah still together after 'Return to Amish'?

In the past, Jeremiah's issues on shows in the Return to Amish franchise have been more about his marriage with his wife Carmela Raber. However, the couple is no longer together.

While Jeremiah and Carmela did split back in March 2022 — Carmela filed a restraining order against Jeremiah following another incident of alleged domestic abuse — they are still together, per Jeremiah's frequent TikTok livestreams.

Watch Return to Amish on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on TLC.

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