Mother, son identified in Farmingdale murder-suicide

The victim of a gruesome decapitation has been identified as a longtime professor at Farmingdale State College. According to police, 66-year-old Patricia Ward's body was found lying in front of her

News 12 Staff

Oct 30, 2014, 1:06 AM

Updated 3,492 days ago

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Mother, son identified in Farmingdale murder-suicide
The victim of a gruesome decapitation has been identified as a longtime professor at Farmingdale State College.
According to police, 66-year-old Patricia Ward's body was found lying in front of her apartment building on Secatogue Avenue just before 8 p.m., her severed head nearby.
Police say her son, Derek Ward, decapitated his mother inside their second-floor apartment. Detectives say he then dragged her down to the first floor and outside, leaving her in two pieces on the street. Twenty-five minutes later, police say Derek Ward committed suicide by throwing himself in front of an oncoming LIRR train about a half-mile away.
Detectives say they did recover a knife inside the apartment and believe it was the one used in the decapitation.
Ward lived in the apartment with her 35-year-old son, who had been struggling with psychiatric issues for a decade. Detectives say his condition had worsened in the last year after the death of his paternal grandfather.
Detective Lt. John Azzata, of the Nassau Police Department, says Derek Ward has no ties to terrorism. He did have an arrest record dating back to 2003.
Patricia Ward was an associate professor at Farmingdale State College for 28 years. She lived for years at a family home in Farmingdale before moving to an apartment complex in West Babylon. She and her son had moved to the apartment complex on Secatogue Avenue a few months ago.
Grief counselors were at Farmingdale State College Wednesday, where her colleagues say they are devastated by the loss.


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