MAMARONECK, NY — Although the condo complex on 1035 E. Boston Post Rd. showed no sign of the tragedy that took place Monday morning apart from a small, makeshift memorial placed out front, inside, residents of the Continental View were reeling from an incident they said never could have been predicted.
Manuela Morgado—a third floor resident of the building—was charged yesterday with second degree murder in connection with her 4-year-old son, Jason’s, death. Police responded to the condo Monday morning and found Manuela in a semi conscious state along with her deceased son. They believe it may have been an attempted murder-suicide.
One neighbor who asked that her name not be used was visibly affected by the news of the death.
“I’m devastated, I’m a mother,” she said, clutching her chest, her voice shaking.
“When I went outside, I thought it was another elderly woman like myself,” she said, continuing, “I wish I would have known—I could have helped her.”
She went on to say that her own two sons were divorced and that, "it can have a terrible effect," referring to Morgado's custody battle with her ex-husbandm Briarcliff Manor's Dr. Tim Reish.
Catherine Lemon, who has lived in the building 16 years, several doors down from Morgado on the third floor, said she often engaged in casual conversation with the 46-year-old mother. Lemon said Morgado had lived in the building for about a year and sometimes had a woman come in to watch Jason.
“I’m in total shock, just disbelief,” she said, shaking her head. “I couldn’t find anything but nice things to say about her—my heart bleeds for her.”
Lemon said that though Morgado spoke of Reish very infrequently, she was a devoted mother that always seemed concerned about her son.
“I can honestly just say from knowing her as a mom, he was her world,” she said, continuing, “She was a wonderful mother.” She said that Morgado would joke with her that, “she couldn’t even think about smoking,” because of her son.
Lemon speculated that Morgado’s actions were motivated by, “worry that she was going to lose her son.”
Cecilia Sanchez, another third floor resident who has lived in the building since it opened in 1996, said that she only knew Morgado from seeing her in the elevator.
She found out about the tragedy when her brother contacted her after watching the news.
“Nothing has ever happened in the building like this,” she said, “It’s so sad.”
Despite the sad circumstances, the door of Morgado's condo—at the end of a long hallway—was festively decorated for fall with a large wreath on the outside.