Father John Ligurgo III And 2-Year-Old Son Jovani Found Dead In Burning Car In Virginia Neighborhood

CORAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The 2-year-old left at his father’s house at 7 a.m. on Tuesday was supposed to be returned to his mother that afternoon.

On Thursday, police in Virginia positively identified the toddler and his father as victims of an apparent murder-suicide.

READ MORE: 'NYC Winter Outings' Hopes To Expand The Impact Of Restaurant Week

Each sustained a gunshot wound.

CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan asked state police and the governor’s office to clarify why no AMBER Alert was sounded.

“We are demanding the same answers. We don’t understand,” a relative told McLogan on Thursday.

John Ligurgo III, left, and Jovani Ligurgo. (credit: Suffolk County Police)

Family members and friends of the child’s mother, Maria Busone, said the family is frantic and at a loss to explain why an alert wasn’t issued. This after spending hours with Suffolk County police on Tuesday evening, not long after father John Ligurgo III’s condo smoldered in a bedroom fire he set and the boy, Jovani Ligurgo, was declared missing.

“Very grief stricken. Nothing we can say right now on her behalf,” the relative said.

As friends and supporters establish a GoFundMe page for funeral expenses, they continue to question the logic of state police — that an AMBER Alert was not warranted because the father had no criminal record, no violent history, had never harmed the child and that the kidnap vehicle was out of state by the time the agency was notified.

Was there an unnecessary delay between the time Suffolk County cops got the case and notified state police of the danger? The following morning the missing Jeep was found on fire in a residential Virginia neighborhood, the bodies within, CBS2’s McLogan reported.

READ MORE: LIRR Commuters Sound Alarm On Frigid Conditions And Limited Heated Waiting Rooms

The Crime Victims Center is asking how many innocent children need to be lost before the law or criteria is changed.

“The criteria for activation for AMBER Alert has to be changed, if in this case it didn’t meet that criteria,” said Laura Ahearn of the group Parents for Megan’s Law. “We had every element met. The offender had set his condo on fire. He had a custody hearing that was pending. They also knew he could have had a weapon and he crossed over state lines with his 2-year-old son.”

In a joint statement, New York State Police and Suffolk County Police said they are “extremely saddened” by the boy’s death and expressed their “deepest sympathies.”

“While circumstances did not trigger an AMBER Alert based on the established criteria, the investigation did not stop there. Both agencies continued to investigate throughout the night and morning to determine the whereabouts of both individuals,” the statement read in part. “The priority of all involved was to locate the child and father, and ensure their safe return.”

Police said the father, who had just lost job, packed a rifle, set his condo on fire and fled over the George Washington Bridge with the boy.

CBS2’s McLogan spoke with a representative of the AMBER Alert Training and Assistance Program.

“Abductors are not restricted by state lines. So having the ability to reach out to your neighboring state is critical,” James Walters said. “That’s one of our mandates through the Department of Justice.”

As for the family, there’s nothing but sorrow.

“He was an amazing little boy, lovely little boy that brought so much joy to everybody’s life,” the relative said.

MORE NEWS: Former New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio Says He Will Not Run For Governor

McLogan reached out multiple times to the state police for answers, but her requests for an on-camera interview were denied. The governor’s office has not returned CBS2’s calls.