Judge calls allegations against woman who hid mom’s body in freezer on Northwest Side ‘very, very disturbing’ – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

A 69-year-old woman who left her dead mother’s body in a freezer for nearly two years on Chicago’s Northwest Side ‘documented’ the death on a household calender but didn’t tell anyone, prosecutors said in court Thursday.

Eva Bratcher appeared before Cook County Judge David Kelly, who set her bond at $200,000 during a more than 30-minute-long hearing that was livestreamed on YouTube. Bratcher must pay $20,000 to be released from custody until her next court date.

Bratcher, charged with concealing a death or moving a body and possessing a fake identity card, allegedly noted on a house calendar that hermother, whose name was not mentioned in court, died on March 4, 2021, at about 2 p.m., said Assistant State’s Attorney Mike Pekara.

One week later, she bought a new freezer and placed her mother’s body in it, said Pekara, who added investigators found her receipt.

“The defendant moved the freezer containing the body into the garage and it remained there until Jan. 30,” Pekara said.

The cause of death is not known yet because the remains were frozen, but an autopsy is expected later Thursday or Friday.

“To place a woman of that age who has lived a very long life into a freezer in the back of a home is very, very disturbing to this court,” said Judge Kelly, before setting bail. It was a “very disrespectful” way to handle the remains of your mom, he added.

Bratcher, who is an U.S. Army veteran who was born in Poland, also possessed at least one fake identification, which had her picture but her mother’s name, Pekara said.

Bratcher’s attorney said she receives retirement benefits from the military and collects Social Security benefits. Additionally, she manages the Melrose Street building, where she and her mother lived, and collects rent for two apartments there., The building was owned by her mother, but Bratcher had power of attorney.

Police conducting a well-being check responded to the first floor of a home on Melrose about 4:35 p.m. Monday, where they discovered the woman’s body.

The name of the woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was not being officially released by the Cook County medical examiner’s office but relatives of Regina Michalski believe it is her.

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Sabrina Watson, Michalski’s maternal granddaughter, called Chicago police on Monday when she began getting a bad feeling and worrying more and more about Michalski (pronounced Mee-hahl-SKI), who had been living with Sabrina’s mother.

“I just knew she was no longer with us,” Watson told the Tribune.

Watson, who has not been in contact with Bratcher, who is her mother, and is not on speaking terms with her, also hadn’t seen her grandmother since at least 2011. She decided to have officers do a well-being check.

“It’s got to be her,” Watson said, after learning the two tenants in the building had not seen her in years and her mother told conflicting stories about where she was: Once her mom told a neighbor asking if she’s seen Regina that Regina was taking a nap and wasn’t available, another time she told neighbors her mom was “fine” and living in a retirement home in Wisconsin while a third time she claimed Michalski had died, according to Watson.

Bratcher, who has felony convictions including a 2010 forgery from Lake County, two forgery convictions from 2005 from Cook County in which she was “accessing another individual’s post office box under the guise that she was allowed to access the bond,” said Pekara.

Bratcher also has two misdemeanor convictions from 2005 including a violation of an order of protection and a domestic battery. Neither of the victims were her mother, said Pekara.

Bratcher is due back in court on Feb. 21.

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