Police investigate after child’s body found in yard of L.I. home - New York News

Police investigate after child’s body found in yard of L.I. home

Posted: Updated:
Heather Kowalczik photo via Facebook Heather Kowalczik photo via Facebook
Robert Rodriguez Robert Rodriguez
MYFOXNY.COM -

State police say that they have dug up the remains of a boy from the backyard of a home on Long Island Saturday. 

This comes after authorities were told by the boy's mother, Heather Kowalcik that her son Justin was about 17-months-old when he died in the summer of 2010 under circumstances that remain unknown. 

Authorities say the family never reported Justin's death. 

Neighbors told Fox 5 they thought the family living here on Hallock Road in Farmingdale had only two children, but state police believe the family had a dark and gruesome secret. 

A third child -- a little boy -- who investigators say was buried in the back yard two years ago. 

On the back edge of the property next to a soccer goal and other children's toys, state police found the toddler's remains in a shallow grave. 

"It's shocking. Hard to believe," said neighbor Michelle Peavey.  

Investigators believe Justin Kowalzczik was 17 months old when he died. 

Police say the body was buried right around the same time his family moved to the Long Island Home two years ago. 

"Oh my god … no, no are you for real?" said Tommy Peavey. 

The Peavey's own children played in that backyard, even attending a birthday party there this summer. They thought the family who lived there only had two boys and never knew there was a third child. 

"You mean we were back there with a body? Oh my god," said Michelle Peavey. 

The alleged web of lies for Heather Kowalczik and her longtime boyfriend Robert Rodriguez began to unravel earlier this week when their six-year-old child was injured, prompting Child Protective Services to visit the house. 

That's when officers asked about Justin.  

"Through this investigation we determined the child was unaccounted for," State Police Major Patrick Regan. 

Kowalczik said the boy was with family upstate but when that didn't check out, police say she admitted her youngest son died soon after the couple moved from Orange County, New York -- leading investigators to search the backyard. 

"Our investigation led us to believe the child was there since July of 2010," said Major Regan. 

How the child died is still under investigation. 

Why the death was not reported and the child was buried is a question many here, including the landlord of the property don't understand. 

"I just want to sell the house. I don't even want to come back here." 

Investigators are still trying to determine how the child died and why the family kept it a secret. 

Authorities said neither Rodriguez nor Kowalczik had been charged with any crimes but Fox 5 has been told charges could be coming soon. 

Kowalczik has been questioned and released by authorities. Rodriguez is not Justin's biological father. 

He is considered a person of interest, but has refused to cooperate with police.

  • Long Island NewsLong Island NewsMore>>

  • Long Island beaches reopen to bathing

    Long Island beaches reopen to bathing

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:08 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:08:19 GMT

    Health officials say six Long Island beaches that were closed for one day have reopened to bathing. The Nassau County beaches were closed Monday due to storm water runoff that could negatively impact bacterial levels. The beaches were: Laurel Hollow Beach, Morgan Beach, North Hempstead Beach Park, Sea Cliff Village Beach, Tappen Beach and Theodore Roosevelt Beach.

    Health officials say six Long Island beaches that were closed for one day have reopened to bathing. The Nassau County beaches were closed Monday due to storm water runoff that could negatively impact bacterial levels. The beaches were: Laurel Hollow Beach, Morgan Beach, North Hempstead Beach Park, Sea Cliff Village Beach, Tappen Beach and Theodore Roosevelt Beach.

  • Speed cameras in LI school zones

    Speed cameras in LI school zones

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:49 AM EDT2014-09-02 09:49:32 GMT
    Reminder for drivers that as children head back to school in Nassau County so too, will the speed cameras in school zones. Officials say speed cams will be fully operational at 25 locations this week. That will more than double eventually.
    Reminder for drivers that as children head back to school in Nassau County so too, will the speed cameras in school zones. Officials say speed cams will be fully operational at 25 locations this week. That will more than double eventually.
  • Hope's Land of Candy

    Hope's Land of Candy

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:13:34 GMT
    Step through the doors of Hope's Land of Candy in Island Park, Long Island and you''ll be taking a trip back in time. There's no WIFI but they do have a Victrola piano. And then there's the candy.. lots and lots of it.
    Step through the doors of Hope's Land of Candy in Island Park, Long Island and you''ll be taking a trip back in time. There's no WIFI but they do have a Victrola piano. And then there's the candy.. lots and lots of it.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:00:24 GMT
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a...
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
  • Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:15 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:15:54 GMT

    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.


    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.



  • CEO resigns Conn. company over dog abuse

    CEO resigns Conn. company over dog abuse

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:05:35 GMT
    Sports catering business Centerplate has announced that its chief executive has resigned following widespread criticism over images from an elevator security camera showing he kicked a friend's dog and pulled...
    Sports catering business Centerplate has announced that its chief executive has resigned following widespread criticism over images from an elevator security camera showing he kicked a friend's dog and pulled hard on...
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices