The father of a 4-year-old Mamaroneck boy allegedly killed by his mother publicly shared his grief for the first time Wednesday, calling his son's death "incomprehensible" and the result of the mother's "heinous actions."
A funeral for Jason Reish, whose nickname was Jake, has been scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. at Scarborough Presbyterian Church in Briarcliff Manor, a worker at the Waterbury and Kelly Funeral Home said. A wake for the boy will take place Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home in Briarcliff Manor.
"The events which led to the untimely death of our beloved Jake are both incomprehensible and unimaginable," lawyers for Dr. Timothy Reish of Briarcliff Manor said in a statement. "We will never be able to comprehend the heinous actions of Jake's mother."
The mother, Manuela Maria Morgado, 46, who was involved in a long-running custody battle with Reish, used helium in an attempt to suffocate the boy sometime Sunday night or Monday morning before trying to kill herself with a drug overdose, a law enforcement source said.
The helium attempt might not have worked, so she then might have tried some other way to smother him, said the source, who added that Morgado recently bought a mask, tube and the gas online.
An official determination as to the cause of death for Jason could take up to six weeks as police await the results of toxicology tests.
On Wednesday, the Westchester County medical examiner's office referred calls to Mamaroneck police, who did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Morgado has been charged with second-degree murder and is being held without bail at Westchester County Jail in Valhalla. She is due back in court Thursday.
Her attorney, Max DiFabio of White Plains, declined to comment Wednesday.
Reish, 43, an orthopedic surgeon, was never married to Morgado. He had reunited in Briarcliff Manor with his wife, from whom he had separated several years ago. While separated, he met and had a relationship with Morgado, sources said.
"We leave this matter in the capable hands of the authorities to secure justice for Jake and for our family," Reish said in a statement released Wednesday through his lawyers.
Jason, Morgado's only child, was already dead when Mamaroneck police arrived at Morgado's East Boston Post Road condominium about 10:20 a.m. Monday after being summoned there by concerned family members, according to officials and court documents. Morgado was found in a "semiconscious" state, police said.
The alleged botched murder-suicide occurred after Morgado on Friday was stymied in an attempt in the state's appellate court to have Jason -- who had a condition diagnosed as requiring special education -- moved to Mamaroneck Community Nursery School.
Reish had enrolled his son at Scarborough Presbyterian Children's Center in Briarcliff. However, Morgado felt the child would receive better services at the Mamaroneck school, said her family court lawyer, Dennis Light.
Both parents agreed that the child needed special-education services -- an individualized education plan, Light said. They disagreed over which was the better preschool for those services, he said.
Light called Morgado Friday afternoon to tell her the appellate judge had not granted her request, deciding instead to wait until later this month to make a ruling.
"She did not take it well," said Light, who had represented Morgado since March. He described their conversation as abrupt.
He said, however, there was no indication she was distraught.
"There was nothing to indicate there was violence on the horizon," Light said. "She probably got distraught after that, thinking the case was lost."
Although Morgado and Reish were adversaries, there was no animosity in the court proceedings, according to Light.
The custody arrangement was for each parent to have Jason half the time, an arrangement Light said was "untenable in the long run."