Son arrested for murder in Syracuse 'suspicious death' investigation

Darrien Howard, 27, has been charged with murder (Courtesy: Syracuse Police.).

A Syracuse man has been arrested for killing his mother on the city's near Westside.

Police said Darrien Howard, 27, was arrested in Endicott and charged with murder in the 2nd degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Syracuse City Court, Howard stabbed and killed his mother, Valerie Crowder, 54, Wednesday night at 144 Holland St.

Crowder's body was discovered Thursday just before 12 p.m.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said her sister went to check in on her, and found her face-down lying an a pool of her own blood.

According to court documents, Crowder had an “Order of Protection” against Howard issued in February 2018 stemming a 2017 harassment arrest.

Howard pleaded guilty to that charge in 2018, according to records, and the "Order of Protection" was extended through May of this year.

A copy of the restraining is below.

[Mobile App users, read the restraining order here]

Fitzpatrick also added that Howard's mental health is a concern.

"I'm suggesting that there's a history of documented mental illness in his past. I have no idea what his state of mind was this week. Mr. Howard was essentially placed on our doorstep and we did the best we could to try to get him some treatment and help, " said Fitzpatrick.

Crowder worked for the Syracuse City School District and district employees are mourning the sudden death of the teaching assistant. Crisis staff have been mobilized, staff members told CNYCentral.

Crowder worked at Webster and Dr. King Elementary Schools.

This story will be updated.

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