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Mother, 96, was discovered dead in the freezer at the Cragin residence; woman charged

Following the discovery of her 96-year-old mother's death inside a freezer at a Northwest Side residence, a Chicago woman has been charged.


The corpse of Regina Michalski was discovered inside the residence in the 5500-block of West Melrose Street, and Eva Bratcher, 69, is accused of covering up her death.

Sabrina Watson said that she was the one who phoned the Chicago police to check on her grandma because she sensed something wasn't right and told them.

According to Watson, "it started with a health check and it concluded with someone being found in the freezer."
Nobody had seen Michalski in years, including her relatives and neighbors who lived next door. 

"Her mother allegedly passed away, according to the residents in the basement. When I questioned the owner for her mother, she said that she was in a nursing facility in Wisconsin since they knew she had passed away "explained Hector Yanez, a renter.

Watson, who had been estranged from her grandmother, phoned CPD from her home in Kentucky to inquire about her. In Chicago's Cragin area, on the 5500 block of West Melrose Street, she shared an apartment building with Watson's mother.


Watson added, "I can't really explain it. "If you want, call it intuition."

When the police checked on her grandmother's well-being, they discovered her dead in a freezer.

"I had a sneaking suspicion she wasn't still alive and among us. I had no suspicion that she would be discovered in the circumstances and location that she was "said Watson.

She said that Polish immigrant Michalski had lived through World War II.

The occupants of the building suspect their landlady of having put her elderly mother's body in the freezer. They said that trash had been accumulating for some time and that they got a bad feeling.

Authorities took a freezer from a garage behind the multi-unit apartment complex on Monday night. A 96-year-old woman's body was there, a source informed ABC7 Chicago. One location where occupants said they had no access was the freezer.


Yanez, who resides on the top level with his family, claimed that when the corpse was discovered, the police detained his landlord, who resides on the first floor.

They shattered the doors to get inside because Yanez "didn't want to open, and there was so much junk inside the flat that they could not even walk inside," Yanez claimed.

RELATED :Police in Chicago said a 96-year-old woman's body was discovered in a freezer on the Northwest Side.

Yanez said that his landlord and her elderly mother had been residing in the first-floor apartment for many years.

Yanez recalled, "When I arrived downstairs, they informed me that they were looking for the owner because they got a call from out-of-state indicating that there was (an) old lady who probably passed away, and she never buried her.

The old woman's long-time neighbors claimed they hadn't seen her in years, and the building owner was giving the locals conflicting accounts of her mother's whereabouts.
No one had access to the garage, he added.

Nobody, nobody, she used to rent the garage to one of the downstairs residents, but after a while, she stopped doing so, Yanez claimed.

He asserted that the alteration took place around three years ago.
The event is being treated by CPD as a death investigation.

When detectives could be seen removing what looked to be a freezer from the house, ABC7 Chicago cameras were rolling. They have not yet indicated if there was any wrongdoing.

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