A substitute teacher and her 11-year-old son were found dead in a New Jersey pond, authorities said.
The bodies of Warda Syed, 35, and her son, Uzair Ahmed, were found late Tuesday in the upper pond section of Grace Lord Park in Boonton, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday.
Syed’s 6-year-old son, who was not identified, was also found at the scene unharmed.
The circumstances leading up to the deaths remained under investigation Thursday, a spokeswoman for Acting Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll told The Post.
“We can’t really offer any further comment at this time, although we’ll be issuing more details when appropriate,” spokeswoman Meghan Knab said. “Our investigation is active and ongoing.”
Syed, of Boonton, was a substitute teacher for Boonton Public Schools. A relative of the family described the deaths at the scene Wednesday as an accident, WPVI reported.
A woman dropped off flowers at a makeshift memorial Wednesday near where Syed’s 6-year-old son was yelling for his mother prior to the discovery of the two bodies. Footprints were seen leading into the water, according to the report.
Police were called to the pond after the 6-year-old boy cried out for help, asking others nearby to call 911, NBC New York reported.
Syed’s car was found in a nearby parking lot and sources close to her family said she would sometimes go to the pond to feed ducks there.
A man who told NBC New York that Syed had rented an apartment from his cousin said her husband has been hospitalized with stage 4 cancer. Syed also lost a brother to coronavirus weeks ago and her sister died in Pakistan just days earlier, according to the report.
Dr. Abdul Raja said he believe Syed’s death was accidental, citing an investigator who said she did regular chores prior to her death.
“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 NBC New York.
A sign near where the bodies were found warns visitors about a steep drop-off leading up to the pond, CBS New York reported.
Boonton Public Schools officials, meanwhile, said they were “heartbroken” by the loss of Syed and her son, who was in the fourth grade.
“Ms. Syed was a substitute teacher in Boonton and a staff member for our extended day program,” district officials told WPVI in a statement.