News

Police ID Body In Bag As Missing Newburgh Boy

Marc Bookal (credit: CBS 2)

Marc Bookal (credit: CBS 2)

NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBS) ― Newburgh police confirmed Friday that the remains of a child found inside a garbage bag along the side of a road last month were that of missing 4-year-old Marc Bookal, CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reports.

A police cadaver dog located the body littered within a small wood pile on March 24 off South Colden Street near Renwick Street.

Police did not release details about how the boy was killed, but said he was murdered.

On the evening of that discovery, CBS 2 spoke with Bookal’s father, Yul Bookal.

“[It’s] the worst day of my life. Otherwise, from when my son went missing, this is the worst day of my life,” he said.

Bookal was first reported missing on December 14, 2009.

A store video obtained by CBS 2 news captured one of the last images of the boy before his disappearance. With him is Cory Byrd, the 30-year-old boyfriend of the boy’s mother. He’s been arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and a parole violation, but it’s his criminal history behind why police are still holding him.

A decade ago, Byrd was sent to prison for beating his 14-month-old son. The boy was treated for a fractured skull, broken ribs, and other injuries. Christina Bookal, Marc’s mother, is also the mother of that child, though she was known ten years ago as “Christina Caston.” To the astonishment of even neighbors, the woman continued to defend Byrd after her son went missing in December.

“He wouldn’t [hurt them]. My kids, all my kids, they wonder why. They don’t believe he would do that,” she said then.

But Marc’s father knew of Byrd’s history, and believed Byrd burned his son’s hands, and also hit him. He said he told Christina that Byrd should not be near the boy.

“It’s not coincidence, that’s why I’m shocked my son’s mother is defending him. It’s appalling to me, if you care about your son, you wouldn’t defend somebody like that,” he said shortly after his son’s disappearance.

No charges have been filed against Byrd in connection with Marc’s murder.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the City of Newburgh Police Department at 569-7509, or Lt. Patrick Arnold at 569-7508.