PLANTATION, Fla. – Anastasiya Savitskaya shared photos of her newborn son on Facebook. In one of the photos, Marc Alan Berkowitz was standing next to her baby boy smiling. Nearly eight years later, Berkowitz is accused of using a hammer and a cord to kill her in front of their son.
It was the end of an abusive relationship, Berkowitz's mother, Barbara Waterson, said Friday night. Savitskaya was preparing to leave him, Waterson said. Her son, she said, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and couldn't handle the breakup.
Waterson said he woke her up to tell her he had killed Savitskaya.
"I went in and grabbed my grandson and I put him in the bathroom and I told him to 'stay there. I am going to call 911,' and Marc says 'Oh no! I am going to prison. I am going to call 911.' I think he snapped, because she was completely letting him know, 'I want nothing to do with you.'"
Savitskaya, who a friend said was from Belarus, had celebrated educational accomplishments over the years and her son had been there for them.
Facebook photos show their boy was at Savitskaya's graduation from Florida Atlantic University and at her white-coat ceremony as a student physician at Nova Southeastern University in 2014. Her last public share on Facebook was May 19: "Graduated from NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine."
Her name was on the May 18 commencement ceremony program.
Tragedy hit Thursday morning. Officers responded to Waterson's home at 8825 Cleary Blvd., and they found Savitskaya dead near the front door. Her son reportedly told police officers, he noticed she had a "boo boo" on her head.
Prosecutors charged Berkowitz with first-degree premeditated murder. He appeared before Broward County Judge Kim Theresa Mollica via video on Friday and is being held in Broward jail without bond.