Police on Tuesday charged a 40-year-old man with murdering his grandmother over the weekend in what was first thought to have been an accidental fall in the split-level Bertie Drive home they shared.
Andreas Peter Bastas was arrested at 2317 Bertie Drive on Tuesday afternoon, according to records.
Police said that the victim in the case, 84-year-old Renee Costa, had died Monday from injuries she received Saturday in what appeared to be a fall down stairs at the house, which she owned.
Emergency Medical Services staff were called to the house and were told she had fallen, police said.
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One of Costa’s nieces said Wednesday that family members were puzzled by what they had learned were Costa’s extensive internal injuries, including broken ribs, because the house had only three steps.
“Something didn’t add up to us,” Elaine Buckey said. “She was not frail. She was not feeble,” she said of her aunt.
Police said in a statement Wednesday that Costa’s injuries did not appear to involve foul play, but detectives later got information that led them to start an investigation. They declined to say who gave them the information or what they were told.
The warrant for Bastas’ arrest was sworn out after detectives consulted with the Wake County District Attorney’s office, police spokesman Laura Hourigan said.
Several family members lived in the house, Buckey said. Costa and her late husband bought it in 1965.
The arrest warrant listed Costa as a witness in the case, suggesting police were able to speak with her before she died.
Records show that Bastas was charged in Wake County with communicating threats in October 2010 and misdemeanor stalking in March 2011 and was convicted in June 2011.
He was given a suspended sentence and put on probation, but that was revoked in December 2012, and he served about 45 days in jail, according to state records. The details of those charges were not immediately available.