A horrific crime took place on Long Island, New York this week. A Farmingdale State College professor was killed by her son who had a history of mental illness. FOX News reported.

Professor beheaded in what witnesses first thought was Halloween prank

A man with a history of psychiatric problems beheaded his mother in her Long Island, N.Y., apartment late Tuesday and then dragged the body and head out onto a street, where onlookers initially thought they were witnessing a macabre Halloween prank, police and witnesses said.

Patricia Ward, 66, was killed inside her apartment by her son, 35-year-old Derek Ward, who jumped in front of a commuter train near the Farmingdale, N.Y., home moments later, killing himself, Nassau County police said.

Derek Ward was arrested previously for gun possession and criminal mischief and also had a psychiatric history going back about 10 years. Police sources told Newsday that he also had a “drug problem, apparently.”

Patricia Ward was identified by Farmingdale State College as a longtime professor who taught language arts at the university.

“There’s a lot of tears, it’s a sad place today,” Patrick Calabria, vice president of institutional advancement at the college, told FoxNews.com. “She was well-known, well-liked and well-respected.”