'Kind, gentle' teaching assistant killed in Syracuse; Son arrested

The body of Valerie Crowder was discovered just before noon Thursday afternoon (CNYCentral Photo).

The woman killed in Syracuse Thursday is being remembered as a "kind and gentle" educator who worked with Syracuse city schools.

The body of Valerie Crowder was discovered just before noon Thursday.

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.

"Ms. Crowder was a wonderful person and a loyal and dedicated employee," said Iverna Minor, Principal at Webster Elementary School.

"She loved her job and loved working with our students here at Webster School. She was kind and gentle person. Though she was only here a short time, she made such an impact. Her presence on a daily basis will be missed," Minor added.

District leaders released a statement Friday morning about Crowder:

“Mrs. Crowder was a long time employee of the Syracuse City School District. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this very difficult time.”

Police said they discovered Crowder’s body just before noon Thursday at 144 Holland Street.

Friends who said they know the victim have spoken to CNYCentral about her. They said they are at a loss for words.

"She was a good woman. She was a quiet woman," said Debra Felder, a neighbor. "She loved her family. They were close knit and just a good person, good-hearted."

Crowder's son has been charged with her murder. According to court documents, she filed an "Order of Protection" against him in January 2018.

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