Queens man gets 5 to 15 years in strangulation death of his grandmother

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RIDGEWOOD, Queens – A Queens man who strangled his grandmother and then kept her decomposing body wrapped in garbage bags for almost half a year was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for the crime, prosecutors said.

Christopher Fuhrer, 31, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the strangulation death of Erika Kraus-Brelin, 85. Fuhrer was her sole caregiver for five years before he killed her and covered up her death.

“This is a very disturbing case,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

A medical examiner determined Kraus-Brelin was asphyxiated in May. Fuhrer, apparently terrified that his 85-year-old grandmother’s death would leave him homeless, didn’t report her death.

He placed her body in a black garbage bag and left it an upstairs bedroom, prosecutors said. Fuhrer wrapped her body in more garbage bags when the body started to smell and used air freshener and paint to mask the odor.

Her body was discovered when another relative, concerned after not hearing from Kraus-Brelin, her her lawyer call the police to check in on her.

Police found her body in October of 2016.