How tragic. The ex-wife of a prominent Manhattan surgeon allegedly took the life of her own son before attempting to kill herself amid a bitter custody battle. Police found suicide notes at the scene — find out more of the tragic details.
Manuela Morgado, 46, who was locked in a bitter custody battle with ex-husband Timothy Reish, was found cradling the lifeless body of her four-year-old son Jason at her New York condo on Oct. 1 after allegedly strangling him.
When authorities arrived on the scene, the boy was already dead, and his mom was described as being in a “catatonic” state. Police believe she asphyxiated little Jason before attempting to take her own life.
Manuela, who lives in the wealthy suburb of Mamaroneck in Westchester County, New York, was arrested and has been charged with second-degree murder.
The boy’s father, Dr. Reish, rushed to her condo when he was notified of the tragic news, and was heard frantically shouting, “where is his mother?”
He and his ex-wife had been battling over custody of their son because he believed Jason should live with him. Dr. Reish is a respected member of the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine and the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and also lives nearby in Westchester.
Police found suicide notes near the scene of the crime that detailed what the disturbed mother was doing and how she planned to arrange her finances. She was taken for a mental evaluation and is currently being held without bail.
She is due in court on Oct. 4, and an autopsy is being performed on Jason.
Neighbor Andrew Landau said he never noticed anything abnormal about the family, and knew Jason to be a nice kid.
“I always used to say hello to him in the elevator,” he said. “He was a nice kid, a gorgeous kid, a really beautiful kid. And she was just a sweet person. There’s nothing bad I can say about her whatsoever,” he said.
How tragic. Our thoughts are with Jason’s family during this horrific time.
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– Christina Stiehl
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