Woman Charged for Freezing 96-year-old Mother’s Body

A woman from the Northwest Side was charged on Wednesday with hiding the fact that her 96-year-old mother had died. Regina Michalski’s body was found in a freezer in a Portage Park garage this week.

Eva Bratcher, Michalski’s 69-year-old daughter, lives in the 5500 block of West Melrose Street. She has been charged with two felonies: hiding a death, moving a body, and having a fake ID card.

“My mother has no love – not even for herself,” Watson said. “No love for humanity. No love for anybody else.”

De Mar asked Watson why her mother would try to hide the fact that her grandmother had died in this way.

Woman Charged for Freezing 96-year-old Mother's Body
Woman Charged for Freezing 96-year-old Mother’s Body

“Money,” Watson said. “It’s always been money. She would steal my identity for money. She did it to my sister. She did it to my husband.” Watson thinks that Bratcher was getting Social Security from her mother.

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“I know she was,” Bratcher said. “That’s why she didn’t call the police.” Robert Bratcher and Eva were married for over 20 years. “I hope they’re following the money on this,” he said

Watson’s words fit with what Mr. Bratcher thought about his ex-reason wife for doing what she did.

Watson, who lives in Kentucky, called Chicago police on Monday to check the safety of the two-flat on Melrose Street. Then came the horrible discovery.

She said that she told the driver:  “I hope I’m wrong, but at 96, I don’t think she’s still alive. So, could you go to the house and knock on the door or take a look around?”

Woman Charged for Freezing 96-year-old Mother’s Body

The police found Michalski’s dead body in the garage freezer. Neighbors said that Michalski’s daughter had told them different things about where the older woman was before her body was found.

“She was telling different neighbors different stories,” said Brigette Yanez, who lives in the same two-flat. “Like some people, she was saying she was in a nursing home in Wisconsin. To other people, she had already passed away. And to me, she was still talking about her, like she was still alive.”

The last time, her body was looked at, an autopsy had not been done, so no one knows how she died. Eva Bratcher will have to go to court again on Thursday.