Autistic Staten Island Man’s Death Ruled Homicide

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/CBS 2) — A distraught Staten Island mother said she believes someone murdered her autistic son, who was a patient at a Staten Island psychiatric center.

Sharon Rowe was beside herself with grief when she learned that her 27-year-old son, Henry Jawara, had died Sunday.

The Medical Examiner’s office found evidence of a possible strangulation and ruled Jawara’s death a homicide, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.

1010 WINS Reporter Mona Rivera talks with the man’s mother.

According to authorities, EMT arrived at the psychiatric center Sunday afternoon and found Jawara unconscious. He was taken to Staten Island University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigative sources said the staff at the psychiatric center was trying to subdue Jawara, when he went unconscious, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported.

Courtney Rowe, Jawara’s stepfather, said the family was told that staff members “were trying to restrain him.”

An autopsy showed evidence that he may have been strangled and his mother said she noticed bruises on him before, but he couldn’t tell her anything.

“He can’t talk, he’s non-verbal,” she said.

Rowe said her son acted more like a 4-year-old and that he had been at the center for a little over one year. Rowe is convinced someone killed him.

“He was murdered and I think, you know…I should have seen it coming,” she told Rivera.

“I put my son some place to protect him and they ended up strangling him. That’s all I know,” Sharon Rowe told Slattery.

Rowe said she noticed bruises on her son before, but he was unable to tell her anything.

“Like I noticed him coming home with [some] little bruises…a black eye then he got four stitches,” Rowe said.

The NYPD confirms that homicide detectives are looking into the death and the state, which runs the center, said an investigation was underway.

Because of the ongoing investigation, a spokesman for the Office For People With Developmental Disabilities had no comment.

“It’s sad to know we thought he’d get professional help and they killed him just like that,” Courtney Rowe said.

More from Mona Rivera
  • Jessie

    Nick, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Hinging judgement of a family based on particular quotes selected for a news article? Maybe we should judge everyone like this. You’re on to something.

  • nickey

    stephanie i just wanted to say I’m very proud of u for speaking ur mind and standing up for what u believe in not many people would reply the way u did and I agree with u 100 percent on both comments…..why shaggy and nick shame on both of u…. i was though walk a mile in a persons shoes before u judge them and both u comments are very heartless and i pray that something like this never happens to anyone u love

  • Why Shaggy

    He looks a little crazy in that picture

    • Stephanie

      Your comment is heartless and without sympathy. I can tell you are a child of the devil. You need to look at yourself in the mirrow and don’t be too quick to judge because we are all here on this earth for a reason and he might have been an angel of God. However, you can’t understand such things as this because of your childest comment. I pray that God will have mercy on your soul because only an animal can say something like what you just said.

  • Nick

    Black eyes? Stitches?

    And you send him back over and over again?

    Sure you were concerned with your son’s well being. Sure.

    • Stephanie

      As per Nick I don’t really have much to say because you can’t really say the parents didn’t really care. You need to put yourself in someones shoes then make comments such as this. You don’t know what was actually said or done and this story is just partial information put together.

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