By Gina Martinez
A Ridgewood man, suspected of strangling his grandmother to death and then placing her body in trash bags for five months, is facing manslaughter charges, the Queens district attorney’s office said.
Prosecutors are charging 30-year-old Christopher Fuhrer with second-degree manslaughter and concealment of a human corpse following the death of his 85-year old grandmother, Erika Kraus-Breslin.
According to police, officers visited Kraus-Breslin’s 67-08 65th St. home in October after responding to a request from a family member to do a wellness check on the elderly woman. When officers arrived, Fuhrer, who lived withKraus-Breslin, immediately told officers his grandmother had died and directed police to a bedroom where her dead body was discovered in multiple layers of plastic bags, police said.
Fuhrer initially told officers that his grandmother suffered from bed sores, so he turned her on her side and left the room. When he returned, he found her face down and unresponsive, police said.
Prosecutors said Kraus-Breslin died on May 21, 2016,after Fuhrer allegedly strangled her and did not notify the police of her death. Fuhrer, who was Kraus-Breslin’s main caregiver for five years prior to her death, placed his grandmother’s dead body in a black garbage bag and left her in an upstairs bedroom in their Ridgewood home, prosecutors said.
According to the DA, over the next 4½ months, Kraus-Breslin’s body remained in the upstairs bedroom decomposing and emitting a “noticeable odor.” Fuhrer continued to place her body in additional garbage bags and used air fresheners and paint to mask the decomposing body’s odor, prosecutors said. The body was not discovered until Oct. 5, 2016.
Kraus-Breslin, an immigrant from Germany, had two children and four grandchildren. She was widowed when her husband died 15 years ago. Kraus-Breslin had worked part time at Rudy’s Bakery in Ridgewood. The owner, Toni Binati, described Kraus-Breslin as someone who never acted her age, was active and healthy and loved the outdoors.
Fuhrer is being held on $350,000 bail and was due back in court on Aug. 17.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart