The city’s Medical Examiner’s office determined that Erika Kraus-Breslin succumbed in May of 2016 to homicidal asphyxiation via neck compression, according to law enforcement sources. Kraus-Breslin shared her 65th Street home with her 30-year-old grandson, Christopher Fuhrer, who was arrested in October for allegedly hiding his grandmother’s body inside the residence.
As of now, Fuhrer has not been charged with Kraus-Breslin’s death, but the homicide investigation is ongoing, police sources said.
Officers from the 104th Precinct found Kraus-Breslin’s body on the afternoon of Oct. 5, 2016, while making a wellness check to her home on 65th Street near 68th Avenue. A relative had asked police to visit the location after not hearing from the victim for an extended period of time.
Fuhrer met the officers when they arrived at the home, and led them to a second-floor bedroom where her body was found. He allegedly told police she had died on May 21.
After she died, Fuhrer allegedly painted her body, wrapped it in 16 plastic bags and placed air fresheners throughout the home in order to mask the stench of death. The New York Daily News reported that Fuhrer claimed he didn’t report her death right away out of fear that he would lose his home.
Following questioning, Fuhrer was arrested and charged with concealment of a human corpse, not reporting a death and burial/body removal without proper permit; he remains held on $350,000 bail, according to court records.