Police investigate after child’s body found in yard of L.I. home - FOX 35 News Orlando

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

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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.

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