News

NYS Police Dig Up Long Island Yard In Search Of Clues In Missing Child Case

3-Year-Old's Disappearance A Year Ago May Be Tied To Friday AMBER Alert
Missing child investigation

New York State Police officers dug up a Nassau County yard on Oct. 5, 2012, looking for clues in a missing child case. (Photo: Chopper 2 HD)

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FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) –  Police spent Friday night digging in the backyard of a Nassau County home, searching for the body of a 3-year-old who went missing about a year ago. The search could be connected to a man mentioned in an AMBER Alert earlier in the day.

Chopper 2 HD was high above the Farmingdale home as several police officers were searching for signs of the missing child.

“That’s been missing or unaccounted for some time now,” New York State Police Major Patrick Regan said, adding when asked if he believes the missing child is dead, “We believe that is possible. The child may be deceased, yes.”

Police arrived late Friday afternoon after receiving a tip from state police in upstate New York, where the child may have lived, CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey reported.

“This location is one of the locations we believe the child may have resided in the past and we’re searching for any evidence that would substantiate that belief,” Major Regan said.

The home belongs to Robert Rodriguez, who was involved in an AMBER Alert on Friday afternoon. Police said Rodriguez snatched his 9-year-old son from the home after learning he was being investigated for the possible homicide of a child. Both he and his son were found. The boy was fine; Rodriguez was questioned. Police would not say if the missing 3-year-old is related to Rodriguez.

Landlord Luigi Lancia said he’s never seen a small child with the family that rents this home.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Lancia said. “Every time we collect the rent, there are always two boys. That’s it.”

Others said they think police may have been searching the wrong home as neighbors echoed the landlord’s claim that a small child has never been seen.

In the meantime, the scene and subject matter sent a chill through the neighborhood.

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