FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Authorities took shovels to the ground to dig along the property line behind 1 Hallock Street and discovered a shallow grave.

“The remains we found were those of an infant human,” New York State Police Major Patrick Regan said at a press conference on Saturday.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports 

17-month-old Justin Kowalczik is believed to have been buried in the backyard for more than two years, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported, while all along Regan said the family pretended he was still alive — and the youngest of three.

“Heather Kowalczik and Robert Rodriguez share two children,” Regan explained. “Robert Rodriguez is not the father of Justin Kowalczik.”

But cops said that when the supposed middle child got hurt — prompting a welfare check by children’s services — they found evidence of only two kids, shining a light on this family’s dark secret.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

Regan explained that Heather Kowalczik said that Justin Kowalczik was with family in Orange County.

“We learned that the child was most likely deceased, and that led us back to the residence.”

It’s still unclear why the Long Island couple pretended that the dead infant was still alive.

No charges have been filed as of yet, and the cause of Kowalczik’s death is unknown. Investigators are waiting for an autopsy, and they didn’t say if foul play is suspected.

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