CENTRAL ISLIP - The mother of the man who was chopped with an ax and left to die in a closet says she just wants to know why the alleged murderer carried out the savage crime.

Norma Campbell was told by detectives that her son, Jason, got into an argument with his next-door neighbor and friend of 21 years, Aston Barth. They told her that Barth cut her son's neck with an ax on the Tuesday before Christmas, then stuffed him into a bedroom closet in his Central Islip home and left him to die.

Campbell says that in the week before her son's body was found, she repeatedly asked Barth where he was, but the alleged killer just said he didn't know and went about his business.

Norma Campbell says it's killing her inside to know that her only son died alone just feet away from where she lives, and that Barth lied about having any involvement. She says she also wonders why Barth's family never heard, saw or smelled anything for an entire week, until Barth's mother made the gruesome discovery on Christmas.

Campbell says her son had two children of his own, ages 2 and 7, plus another child on the way, who will now grow up without a father.

Barth is facing second-degree murder charges and is being held without bail. He is due back in court next week.