Westchester County authorities say that a 46-year-old killed her four-year-old son—and that she may have tried to kill herself. Manuela Maria Morgado, 46, was found half-conscious with the dead body of her son Jason Reish in her arms yesterday morning. Apparently Morgado and her ex-husband, Tim Reish, a surgeon who works in Manhattan, were in a custody battle.
Police got a call from a relative around 10:20 a.m. yesterday and went to Morgado's apartment in Mamaroneck Village. Inside they found the woman "cradling the lifeless child," according to the Journal News, whose sources say she asphyxiated the boy. A source told the Journal News, "A family member came to help the mother move from the apartment and saw something wrong. When police showed up, they found the mother sitting in the [bed]room with the baby, pretty much catatonic."
Morgado was charged with second-degree murder. Her neighbors were in shock, with one saying, "She just seemed to be a terrific, very upbeat person. Always with the son. The dozen conversations I had with her were absolutely terrific. Nothing that would give you any sense that something like this would happen." And a worker at the play center where Jason was enrolled visited the apartment complex, "All I saw was his father screaming upstairs, asking questions like, ‘Who was there, where is he, where is his mother?"