Racine police say a 50-year-old man is facing life in prison after he killed his neighbor because she caused too many problems for residents in their apartment building.

Henry Fumich, of Racine, was charged Thursday in Racine County Circuit Court with first degree intentional homicide as well as one felony count each of hiding a corpse and robbery with the use of force. If convicted of just the homicide charge, he faces life in prison. The additional felonies carry a combined penalty of 27-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $75,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, police on Thursday received a call from a man about a homicide that occurred Wednesday in the apartments above the Sunshine Market on 16th Street and Taylor Avenue. When officers arrived, the man told them he’d helped dispose of a body by putting it a dumpster behind the building. Because the waste disposal company had already taken the dumpster away, police had to intercept the truck before it dumped its contents.

Officers say they found a body wrapped in a blanket inside the garbage truck who was later identified as a woman who lived in the same building as the man who reported her death. That man named Fumich as the primary suspect and said Fumich asked him to help dispose of the body.

A woman who was taken into custody at the same time Fumich was admitted during questioning that Fumich killed the woman because she stirred up too much controversy, the complaint reads. The witness said Fumich cut the power cord of a portable fan before luring the woman to their apartment where he strangled her with the cord. Fumich then rifled through her pockets, taking cash and pills that he later sold.

Police say that when they questioned Fumich, he admitted to killing the woman and said he stuffed her body into his refrigerator while he and the witness left their apartment to visit friends. Fumich said he’d sold the woman some crack cocaine, but she never paid him for the drugs and that he was just tired of her though he “kind of regretted” killing her. He also admitted seeing another neighbor and enlisting him in the disposal of the woman’s body.

Fumich remains in the Racine County Jail on a $500,000 cash bond and will next be in court Oct. 12 for his preliminary hearing.

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