The 35-year-old Morris County mother found drowned with her 11-year-old son in a Boonton pond had suffered a trio of recent tragedies, reports say.
The body of Warda Syed and her son, Uzair Ahmed, were recovered from the Upper Pond section of Grace Lord Park in Boonton around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, Acting Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll said in a release with other county officials.
Syed, a substitute teacher in the Boonton school district, rented an apartment from the cousin of Dr. Abdul Raja, who says the family had been struggling after her husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, according to NBC New York.
Meanwhile, Syed’s brother died of COVID-19 about two weeks ago while her sister, a doctor in Pakistan, died from the virus three days ago, the outlet reports.
However, Raja believes that Syed’s death was accidental and not self-inflicted.
"The detective said she did all the shopping — food, groceries, hair color, everything — and he said when people commit suicide, they don't do all these things," Raja told the outlet.
In a message sent to the school community, district Superintendent Robert Presuto offered condolences and described the incident as a “terrible tragedy.” Syed’s son, Uzair, was a fourth-grade student at John Hill School.
“We are stunned and heartbroken by this incident as we mourn the loss of our colleague, and for many of our students, their classmate and friend,” Presuto wrote.
“We will continue to provide support services to any student or staff member who needs to talk or needs consoling about this tragedy.”
The ongoing investigation is being led by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the Boonton Police Department Detective Bureau and the Boonton Fire Department Swiftwater Rescue Team.
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