Suffern Teacher Happened Upon Killer in Her Apt.: Authorities

Teacher was talking on the phone with her boyfriend before she was killed.

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    Jami Erlich

    The popular Suffern schoolteacher slain last week was on the phone with her boyfriend when she walked in on her killer already in her apartment, authorities said.

    "We know he killed her in the apartment," Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said Monday, The Journal News reported. "It appears she walked in on him inside the apartment while she talked on her cell phone."

    The boyfriend of the victim, Jami Erlich,  was talking with her boyfriend as she walked in to the house, Zugibe said. In every boyfriend's worse nightmare, the call ended suddenly and he tried to call her back right away. When he didn't get an answer, he called 911 immediately.

    Eric Lau (Low) was Erlich's next-door neighbor, and authorities have not provided information on how he got access to the apartment. He did not have permission from the schoolteacher or a key to the apartment.

    Authorities did not discuss how the victim was attacked, any weapons that were used in the assault, or the condition of Erlich's body. Police also did not say whether or not she had been sexually assaulted. Her death was ruled a homicide as a result of stab wounds and bludgeoning.

    Lau was indicted on murder and burglary charges, the district attorney said. He pleaded not guilty last Wednesday following his arrest.

    Lau fired his attorney, and his new lawyer has not returned a call at his office. Erlich’s family has declined to talk to The Journal News in a statement.