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A Massachusetts woman is being held without bail after allegedly killing her former landlord with a hammer and wrapping his body in a shower curtain after he confronted her about forged checks.

Prosecutors say Xiu Fang Ke, 43, beat her former landlord, 65, after he discovered she had stolen over $40,000.

Ke faces a murder charge after Middlesex prosecutors say she made a “concerted effort” to hide Leonard Garber’s body after killing him.

“The preliminary investigation revealed that the defendant had allegedly been forging checks from the victim’s accounts and had allegedly stolen over $40,000,” prosecutors wrote in announcing the charge. “When the victim became aware of the theft, he confronted the defendant and she allegedly struck and killed him and then attempted to hide the body.”

Ke then wrapped Garber’s body in a curtain and covered it in construction materials and “several other heavy items,” prosecutors said.

Police performed two welfare checks on Garber before finding his body, according to the district attorney. They may have missed him on the first visit due to the efforts to hide the body, the district attorney said.

“The allegation is there was a very concerted effort on the part of the defendant to conceal the body in the entryway or the hallway into that apartment,” Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said at a news conference last week.

Prosecutors believe Ke had begun stealing money from Garber at some point within the past couple of weeks.

Ke was a tenant of Garber’s several years ago at a different property than the one where she allegedly killed him, Ryan said. The two had been friends since that time.

“During the interview the defendant admitted that she had stolen checks from Leonard Garber and that she had killed him,” Assistant District Attorney Julie Kunkel said during the proceedings, NBC Boston reported. “She later stated that she had used a hammer and hid his body in the location where it was eventually found by police.”

Email Taylor Anderson

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