The death of an 85-year-old woman who was found in her Queens home inside of plastic bags is now considered a homicide, the NYPD said on Tuesday evening.
Christopher Fuhrer, 30, was charged with improper burial and not reporting a death to a health officer after police found the body of Erika Kraus-Breslin in plastic bags.
Police were called to do a wellness check on Kraus-Breslin in her Glendale, Flushing townhouse on Oct. 5, 2016.Fuhrer, who lived at the same address, took officers to the bedroom where they saw the woman's body wrapped in plastic bags and air fresheners around the room. She was declared dead on the scene, according to the NYPD.
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Fuhrer allegedly told police at the time that Kraus-Breslin had been dead for five months.
Kraus-Breslin took in Fuhrer when he was about 17 because he "had no place to go," the New York Daily News reported.
“That's what she told me the last time I saw her — she said, ‘Ya know, Christopher keeps me young.’"said Toni Binanti, Kraus-Breslin'sformer employer at Rudy’s Bakery in Ridgewood.
Fearing he would be kicked out and left without a place to stay, Fuhrer allegedly wrapped Klaus-Breslin's body in plastic as the smell worsened. He also covered her body in paint and kept a fan and a can of Febreze nearby.
The investigation is ongoing, the NYPD said.
“Erika used to say to me, ‘Christopher saw a lot, Toni, Christopher saw a lot’ but we never got too into it," Binanti said. "It wasn't my place to ask."