RIDGEWOOD, Queens – An 85-year-old Queens woman whose grandson kept her decomposing body inside several garbage bags was strangled, police said.
On Tuesday, the NYPD said a medical examiner determined Erika Kraus-Brelin, 85, was asphyxiated in May. She was wrapped in at least 10 garbage bags until a relative led police to the horrifying discovery inside her Ridgewood, Queens home on Oct. 5, according to police.
Her grandson, Christopher Fuhrer, 30, is under arrest after months of trying to cover up her death, putting air freshener in a fan to minimize the smell, which began the day after she died, the police source said. He told police in October that he was terrified of notifying authorities about her death out of fear of being homeless.
Officers were sent to her home on 65th Street near 68th Avenue by a concerned family member who called police on Oct. 5, NYPD said. When they arrived, police were met by Fuhrer, who directed them to a bedroom where Kraus-Breslin’s wrapped corpse was lying on the floor.
Fuhrer faces a charge each of not reporting death to a health officer, burial/body removal without permit, and improper burial, police said.
Fuhrer is being held on $350,000 bail.
The NYPD said on Tuesday charges would be upgraded but did not name a suspect in the murder.
PIX11’s Myles Miller contributed to this report.