Suffolk police investigate the scene at Manorville Hills County Park...

Suffolk police investigate the scene at Manorville Hills County Park on Route 111 in Manorville, where a body was found by a jogger in a wooded area. (March 22, 2012) Credit: James Carbone

A St. James man admits he and several friends dumped his girlfriend's body in a Manorville park a month ago after she died of an apparent drug overdose, Suffolk police said Friday.

Matthew A. Kraus, 34, was arraigned Friday in First District Court in Central Islip on a misdemeanor charge of disposing a body without a permit.

Kraus, of 457 Lake Ave., is being held on bail, $20,000 cash or $50,000 bond.

In a three-page statement to police, Kraus said he and his girlfriend, Pura Simancas, 45, of Central Islip, were shooting heroin and taking prescription drugs with three other friends on Feb. 27.

They were partying at the house of one of the friends in Cold Spring Harbor, according to the statement filed in court.

Kraus supplied the Xanax and one of his friends supplied the heroin, he said.

"That night, Pura shot heroin into her left arm two to three times. Pura also took two to three of my [Xanax] pills on two or three occasions in a two-three hour time period," Kraus said.

"As Pura sat on the living room couch she faded out and looked unconscious. I shook her arm and realized she was dead," he said in the statement.

Kraus told police that he and his three friends, two males and a female, panicked and decided not to call 911.

The men wrapped Simancas' body in a blanket and put her in the bed of a pickup truck, according to the statement.

Kraus said the four friends climbed into the truck and drove to Manorville, where the men dumped the body deep in the woods, covering it with leaves and branches.

On Wednesday, a jogger found Simancas' body in Manorville Hills County Park about 4:30 p.m. off Route 111, police said.

Suffolk Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick said Kraus' account of the incident is consistent with evidence gathered by investigators.

The medical examiner has yet to determine Simancas' cause of death.

Police arrested Kraus Thursday evening. Fitzpatrick would not say what led authorities to zero in on Kraus. No other arrests have been made.

Kraus has been in trouble with the law before, according to arrest records and a law enforcement source.

On June 24, 2011, Kraus was charged with misdemeanor arson and reckless endangerment after, police say, he set a laminated sign on fire in a doctor's waiting room in Holbrook.

Four days later, he was pulled over on a Long Island Expressway service road in Hauppauge and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of hypodermic needles.

On July 28, Kraus pleaded guilty to the arson and reckless endangerment charges and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. The status of the drug charges weren't immediately known.

With Matthew Chayes

and Andrew Smith

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