Van Buren woman slain

Deputies arrest parolee husband for death

— Onondaga County Sheriff’s Detectives have made an arrest in the death of a Van Buren women.

At 2:30 p.m. Dec. 30, Sheriff Deputies responded to 3020 Village Boulevard South after receiving a 911 call from the maintenance personal reporting that they had discovered a dead body in the apartment. Shortly after deputies arrived, they learned that the maintenance personal had been alerted to a foul odor coming from the apartment. Upon investigating the source, the deputies entered the apartment and discovered the body, which officials said was fairly decomposed as the woman had been dead for six to seven days.

Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division were called to the scene after it was determined to be a homicide. As the investigation continued, Detectives were able to identify the victim in the apartment as 56-year-old Rebecca J. Dethlefs.

Dethlefs shared the apartment with her husband, Robert Burger, 67, who was not home at the time her body was discovered. Detectives then focused their attention on Burger and discovered that he was a parolee for life for a murder he had committed back in 1964, which he served 28 years in prison.

Burger was quickly tracked down to Middletown, NY, and with the assistance of the New York State Police, he and his vehicle were located at a motel in that area. Detectives responded to the motel, located Burger and took him into custody.

While cooperating with police up to a point during questioning, Burger was charged with second degree murder and arraigned Saturday, Dec. 31, in Van Buren Town Court before Judge Ed Van Der Water. He is being held without bail at the Onondaga County Justice Center.

The Sheriff’s Department plans to gather additional evidence over the next couple of days.

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