Family: Bronx building management company stole, trashed late mother’s belongings
A family says a Bronx building management company stole and trashed belongings inside their mother’s apartment after she died of COVID-19.
Karen Newman resided in an apartment at the Lafayette Estates on 875 Morrison Ave. from 1977 until her death in April 2020.
"She lived a wonderful life. She was a phenomenal woman," her daughter Sheryl Newman says.
When the Newman family went to her former home to retrieve her property, they say they were surprised to discover that the locks had been changed.
After contacting the building’s management, Newman says she learned that her mother's apartment had been emptied without notice and her valuables thrown in the basement of the building.
According to New York state law, family members of deceased tenants are entitled to a grievance hearing before eviction can occur.
In September 2020, Newman was granted voluntary admission of her mother’s estate. However, she says it was too late because the apartment had already been listed for sale.
"I was threatened late September of 2020, [that] I better come get my mother's belongings, or my mother's belongings were going to be on the street, but half of them was on the street when I got here," Newman says.
"The courts were closed. He knew what he was doing. He knew that I was not able to go and get the voluntary administration of my mother's estate. He just went in there and cleaned me out. He didn't care. They're heartless,” she says.
Newman says over 46 years of memories, furniture and property were nowhere to be found.
"I have nothing. I have no pictures. No memories,” she says.
After three years, the family says they are still fighting for answers about what happened to their mother’s possessions. The Newman family says they hope to find an attorney that can help them with compensation for damages.
News 12 reached out to the Lafayette Estates but has not yet received a response.