NEWARK — Police have settled a suit brought by a mother who claimed they kept her son's death a secret.

As first reported by the NJ Civil Settlements site, Zdenka Simkova of Garfield alleged she attempted to report her son Michael as missing to Garfield Police on Nov. 26, 2007 after he never made it to Thanksgiving dinner from his home in Queens.

She said in the lawsuit a Garfield officer told her to file the report with the NYPD, which told her to file the report in Newark since, that is where he was last seen.

She said that Newark Police on two occasions in December 2007 refused to file a missing persons report, telling her they had seen Michael Simkova alive. Simkova also said police refused to let her hang flyers at Penn Station.

But the suit alleges that Newark Police already knew on Nov. 23 Michael Simkova was dead — that his body was found by Newark police on that day, and that he was positively identified by fingerprints on Nov. 2007.

She said police buried her son in a mass grave for indigents, and she learned four years later about her son's death from the NYPD.

Simkova and the city of Newark reached a settlement for $80,000 in Nov. 2016. As is typical in settelements, the city did not admit any wrongdoing.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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