This is the son who beheaded his mother and kicked her head along the street before jumping under a train in New York.
Mentally-ill Derek Ward, 35, decapitated his 66-year-old mother, Patricia, on Tuesday night before dragging her body outside their apartment in Farmingdale, New York, in what neighbours thought at first was a Halloween prank.
‘She had an appointment set up for (Friday),’ her brother, the Rev. Robert Lubrano, told the New York Daily News. ‘She finally met a compassionate psychiatrist, but she’ll never make it to see him.’
Describing Derek as a ‘sick, sick boy’, Rev. Lubrano said Derek had battled psychiatric issues for ten years, but had never shown any signs of violence.
He said: ‘He killed my sister because we couldn’t get the prescriptions he needed. For four days, he didn’t have his meds.
‘She’s dead because he had a mental illness, and we didn’t know how serious it was. We’re in terrible shock. She was a wonderful person.’
Derek had apparently sat with his mother’s mutilated body for a few minutes inside their blood-spattered home following the brutal attack before taking it outside and kicking her head 20 feet.
Neighbours initially thought it was part of a Halloween prank and tried to pick up the body. As they were doing so, Derek jumped in front of an oncoming Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train.
Rev. Lubrano told the paper Derek, who had attention deficit disorder and was dyslexic, was too old to be covered by his mother’s insurance and they struggled to find a doctor who would accept Medicaid.
But he said they finally found one at a cost of $200 for a 20 minute visit, adding that his sister did ‘everything she could to keep him alive’.
He said Derek’s behaviour had become increasingly erratic in the days leading up to the tragedy, describing how, one evening, she had dropped a fork while making him dinner, making him angry.
‘He said the noise hurt his head,’ Rev Lubrano said. ‘She was begging him to go to the emergency room, but he wouldn’t.’
Prof Ward was a much-loved teacher of language arts for 28 years at Farmingdale State College, a colleague told MailOnline today
Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Patrick Calabria, said: ‘Patricia Ward was a member of the campus for 28 years. She was well-known, well-liked, and well-respected. The campus is a very sad place today.’
Derek was found to be carrying a pistol and 100 valiums when he died.
Prof Ward was believed to have suffered multiple stab wounds and broken ribs before she died.
She was an assistant professor of language arts at the Long Island Educational Opportunity Center where she worked with high school students who need help to become prepared for college, Mr Calabria added.
He added there was blood smeared down the stairs of the apartment block as if someone had dragged a body.
Nassau County Police Department would not confirm today that a decapitation had taken place but were investigating a link between then murder and the suicide.
The LIRR issued multiple notices to passengers on Twitter on Tuesday, noting service changes and cancelled trains.
One message read: ‘The 7.11PM train from Penn due Ronkonkoma at 8:33PM delayed east of Bethpage due to an unauthorized person on the tracks struck by the train.’