A felony hearing Wednesday for Manuela Morgado—the Mamaroneck mother charged in connection with the murder of her 4-year-old son Jason “Jake” Reish—revealed chilling details of the morning both Jake and his semi-conscious mother were discovered by police in her East Boston Post Road condo.
When he initially entered the boy’s bedroom in Apartment 32 on the morning of Oct. 1, it was already clear that Jake was no longer alive, said Village of Mamaroneck Detective Bernard McNally as he testified in front of Judge Christie Derrico in court today.
“He was lying lifeless on the bed, there was no color to his face,” he said, adding that there was a bluish tinge to his face, indicating a lack of proper oxygen. Jake’s arm was also stiff, a sign that rigor mortis had set in.
When McNally’s colleague, Detective Edgar Prieto, questioned Morgado in Spanish as to what happened, “Que paso,” her response was simply, “Now no one will take him from me.”
A small helium tank that Morgado purchased online with two nozzles and masks rested on the bed near the headboard, said McNally. The bathroom counter was littered with several over- the-counter cold/flu medications including Benadryl; an empty prescription Xanax (alprazolam) bottle and a plastic tubed syringe with a reddish liquid inside. Many of the items were partially open and consumed, he said.
Jake’s body was removed and taken to the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s office and Morgado was taken to Sound Shore Medical Center’s emergency room.
Later in the day, at about 3:15 p.m., Morgado, while handcuffed to the bed, told detectives that she had attempted to sedate her son prior to killing him by injecting him with a combination of Benadryl and other cold medicines.
She then put a mask on him to dispense helium and, when that didn’t work, he said, she told detectives she, “took her hand and cupped his mouth and nose and ‘snuggled him,’” while also leaning her upper body on top of him as he faced the pillow on the bed.
“He kicked and gasped—she had to do it again,” he said, adding, “She said she thought about it a long time and knew she had to do it.”
Morgado’s frustrations stemmed from her custody disputes with Jake’s father, Dr. Tim Reish, he said, and her belief that no one was considering her needs.
Harvey Loeb, Morgado’s attorney, questioned McNally as to the defendant’s condition when detectives visited her in the hospital.
“She seemed alert to me…she was crying a little,” he said, adding that she reminded the detective that he needed to take the cap off his video camera so that it would work properly.
Morgado appeared briefly in court—clad in the same light blue jail issued pants and dark blue top that she had worn in previous appearances—to sign temporary orders of protection for Dr. Reish’s children, Jake and Nick Reish. Both Tim and the mother of his children, Erin Taylor Reish, also have orders of protection from Morgado, who they say sent them threatening letters in the past.
Morgado waived her right to appear at the hearing and was escorted out in handcuffs before proceedings began.
The 46-year-old Mamaroneck resident is charged with second degree murder in connection with her son’s death in what was believed to be an attempted suicide and murder. She is being held at Westchester County Jail.
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