The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 3, 2012

NY mom charged in boy's death; Lewisburg family mourns

By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — A Lewisburg family is mourning the loss of a 4-year-old boy, the son of a prominent Manhattan orthopedic surgeon originally from Lewisburg, allegedly at the hands of his mother.

Jason Reish, son of Dr. Timothy Reish, of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., was found dead Monday, cradled in the arms of his mother, Manuela Morgado, 46, of Mamaroneck, N.Y., who was in a semi-conscious state when police found her in the bedroom of her condominium after responding to a 911 call.

Reish, a 1986 graduate of Lewisburg Area High School, is an attending physician at Insall Scott Kelly Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in New York. He specializes in sports medicine, arthroscopic surgery and shoulder, elbow and knee reconstruction.

Reish is part of a family of orthopedic doctors. His brother is Dr. Matthew Reish, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist practicing in Lewisburg. He also works with SUN Orthopedic Group.

Their father, Dr. Gale Reish, of Lewisburg, is a retired physician, well known for his work with the SUN Orthopedic Group and Evangelical Community Hospital. Reish has served on the Lewisburg school board and is on the board of the Green Dragon Foundation.

The funeral for Jason will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in Scarborough Presbyterian Church, Briarcliff Manor. A visitation will take place today at the Waterbury & Kelly Funeral Home, also in Briarcliff Manor.

On behalf of the family, a tearful Dr. Gale Reish gave this statement Wednesday: “Our family mourns the tragic loss of Jason Matthew Reish, who died on Oct. 1. He was a happy, lively little 4-year-old who brought joy to everyone he knew and who loved him. Because of the circumstances of his death, we would ask that you respect our privacy and allow us time to try and comprehend the incomprehensible.”

Detective Sandra DiRuzza, of the Village of Mamaroneck Police Department, is in charge of the investigation.

She said at about 10:20 a.m. Monday, police received a 911 call to check the well-being of a woman living on East Boston Post Road. Officers were met by the caller, a family member of Morgado.

When they entered the bedroom, officers said they saw the deceased boy in the arms of Morgado, who was in a semi-conscious state. It’s believed she attempted to take her own life.

Morgado was taken to a hospital for evaluation and later charged with second-degree murder, a felony. She was arraigned in court and remanded without bail to the Westchester County Jail. She is scheduled to appear today in Mamaroneck Village Court.

Charges were filed following an investigation by the Mamaroneck police, Westchester County district attorney’s office and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety.

The investigation into the death, including a possible motive, continues. Police believe Morgado and Timothy Reish, who were never married, were in a custody battle over the boy. They were to appear in family court Oct. 16.

“The events which led to the untimely death of our beloved Jake are both incomprehensible and unimaginable,” Timothy Reish said in a statement issued through Guttridge & Cambareri PC, attorneys representing him.

“We will never be able to comprehend the heinous actions of Jake’s mother,” the statement said. “We leave this matter in the capable hands of the authorities to secure justice for Jake and our family.”