FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – An investigation continues after police found the remains of a toddler buried in the backyard of a Farmingdale, Long Island home.
Police said the remains of Justin Kowalczik had been buried in a shallow grave behind 1 Hallock Street for more than two years but the family never reported the 17-month old child dead or missing.
The search for evidence has ended and the police tape has been taken down, CBS 2’s Drew Levinson reported.
“The remains we found were those of an infant human,” New York State Police Major Patrick Regan said at a press conference on Saturday.
The dig began Friday night two days after there was an indication something was wrong.
Suffolk County Child Protective Services agents went to the home Wednesday to check up on the family’s three children. They were able to account for two of them but not the boy born in 2009.
Neighbor Diane Goldstein said she did not know the parents but said nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
“They were all just normal children that played and had fun,” Goldstein told Levinson.
State Police said Heather Kowalczik told them the toddler died shortly after the family moved to Farmingdale from Orange County in 2010.
Police have questioned Kowalczik’s boyfriend Robert Rodriguez. He’s the father of her two oldest children ages six and nine but he is not Justin’s father.
Police say Rodriguez is not cooperating in the investigation and remains a person of interest.
Neighbor Susan O’Connell said the community is very safe.
“It’s a well-knit area, everybody looks out after one another here so I am devastated,” O’Connell told Levinson
Authorities continue to wait for autopsy results to determine how the boy died.
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