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Man Admits to Accidentally Strangling His Grandmother, Hiding Body, DA Says

By Gwynne Hogan | August 3, 2017 3:43pm
 Erika Kraus-Breslin was found dead in her Ridgewood home, police said.
Erika Kraus-Breslin was found dead in her Ridgewood home, police said.
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Handout with DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

RIDGEWOOD — The man charged earlier with living for months with his dead grandmother's rotting corpse has now admitted to accidentally strangling her then trying to mask the smell with air freshener and paint, prosecutors said.

Christopher Fuhrer, 30, who was his elderly grandmother's only caregiver for around five years before her death, told investigators he accidentally strangled his grandmother on May 21, 2016 and instead of calling the authorities, he wrapped her body in a black garbage bag and left it in an upstairs bedroom of their home on 65th Street, prosecutors said.

As the corpse of 85-year-old Erika Kraus-Breslin decayed for more than four and a half months, her grandson Fuhrer went to increasingly desperate lengths to conceal the odor, adding new plastic bags, using fresh paint and air freshener, until police discovered her body on Oct. 5, after they were called to check on her, police and prosecutors said.

Fuhrer was arraigned on charges of manslaughter and concealing human corpse on Wednesday, court records show. Following the discovery of his grandmother's body last fall he'd been charged with concealing a human corpse and other misdemeanor charges.

In January, the Medical Examiner's office and deemed Kraus-Breslin's death a homicide, after determining she'd been strangled.

Fuhrer's legal aid attorney couldn't be reached for comment immediately.