A child welfare check led authorities to discover the remains of an infant whose death two years ago went unreported by his family, New York State Police said today.
Acting on a search warrant, authorities worked overnight to dig up the back yard of the Farmingdale, N.Y. home where the boy's family resides.
"It is absolutely a suspicious death and it is being investigated as such," State Police Major Patrick Regan told The Associated Press. "We don't have a cause of death, and to our knowledge, there was never a report made of the child being missing."
The remains of an infant were unearthed and sent to the medical examiner's office to confirm the identity of the child and cause of death.
The corpse is believed to be of Justin Kowalczik. The 17-month-old died in the summer of 2010 and his death went unreported until an investigation was launched last week, police said.
On Wednesday, authorities from the Suffolk County Child Protective Services visited the home of Robert Rodriguez and Heather Kowalczik to conduct a welfare check on their 6-year-old child, police said.
During that time, authorities say they became aware that Justin, who is one of Kowalczik's three children, was not accounted for.
The New York State Police interviewed Heather Kowalczik, who told police Justin died shortly after the family moved from Orange County, N.Y.
During the interview, authorities said they were also able to pinpoint a location in the family's backyard where the boy had allegedly been buried.
Rodriguez, who is the father of the couple's two older children, was identified as a person of interest and sought by police.
Authorities became alarmed when the couple's 9-year-old son did not show up for school on Friday.
An Amber Alert was issued and the child was located, police said.
The couple's two children have been placed in protective custody, police said.
Neither Rodriguez nor Kowalczik have been charged.
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