Kitchen Fire Was Cover-Up For Homicide
By Brian Magoolaghan
A 77-year-old woman whose body was found badly burned inside her Bayswater home last week actually died from stab wounds to her neck and other head injuries, according to the Chief Medical Examiner's office.
Firefighters found the woman's severely burned body lying face down inside the kitchen of her home at 1140 Bay 24 Street at about 7:20 p.m. on Thursday, February 8, according to police.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames inside the home, and Fire Marshals immediately labeled the fire suspicious because the kitchen was the only part of the house that had signs of smoke and fire damage.
Calvin Charles, the victim's husband, told police that night that he came home from work, tried to open the front door and realized his house was filled with smoke. He said he ran across the street to the house of James Holland, who called 911. Charles said thick smoke prevented him and his neighbor from entering the house through the front door and that he didn't have keys to the back door, which is near the kitchen.
The Chief Medical Examiner ruled the woman's death a homicide this week and said stab wounds to her neck and blunt trauma to her head is what killed her, according to a spokesperson. A positive ID was still pending; the woman has been identified as both Edith and Elsie in official records and published reports. Other published reports also contained an erroneous address of the home and the victim's age.
Investigators have been questioning Calvin Charles, according to police. It was unclear if there were other suspects, and there were no arrests in the case when The Wave went to press on Thursday. The Medical Examiner's office indicated that the victim's body still had not been claimed by a funeral home, which suggests the investigation is preempting her funeral arrangements.
Calvin Charles could not be reached for comment.