Derek Ward, the Long Island man who beheaded his college professor mother before jumping in front of a train Tuesday night, was apparently scheduled to see a psychiatrist today. His mother Patricia Ward's brother, the Rev. Robert Lubrano, told the New York Daily News that Derek had been off his medication for four days when he killed his mother.
"She's dead because he had a mental illness, and we didn't know how serious it was," he told the paper. "We're in terrible shock. She was a wonderful person."
Lubrano told the Daily News that Derek had been suffering from mental illness for at least a decade and because Derek was too old to be covered under his mother's insurance, the two struggled to find a doctor who would accept Medicaid. "[My sister] was paying $200 for a 20-minute visit. She did everything to keep Derek alive," Lubrano told the Daily News.
Derek had apparently sat with his mother's mutilated body for a few minutes inside their blood-spattered home following the brutal attack before taking it outside and kicking her head 20 feet.
Neighbours initially thought it was part of a Halloween prank and tried to pick up the body. As they were doing so, Derek jumped in front of an oncoming Long Island Rail Road train.
And although Derek Ward spent six weeks in a Long Island psychiatric hospital in 2013 after the death of his grandfather, Lubrano claims he was never officially diagnosed. "We never got a real diagnosis. We thought it was schizophrenia or depression," he told the paper. "My nephew was not a bad person, [just] a sick person."