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Toddler’s Remains Found Buried In Farmingdale Backyard

Mother’s boyfriend considered ‘person of interest’

On Wednesday, Oct. 3 an investigation by Suffolk County Child Protective Services (CPS) was initiated of the health and welfare of a six-year-old child, parented by Robert Rodriguez, 30, and Heather Kowalczik, 29. The initial investigation revealed that another child, Justin Kowalczik, born in 2009, would be approximately three years old, was unaccounted for in the couple’s home.

The Suffolk County CPS investigation into Justin’s whereabouts, led them upstate to enlist the help of Orange County Child Protective Services.

The New York State Police, Troop L Headquarters in East Farmingdale, near Republic Airport, were called in to assistance by the state police unit in Middletown, New York, to interview Rodriguez and Kowalczik when the toddler could not be located upstate.

According to state police, Kowalczik said that Justin died shortly after she relocated to Long Island in July 2010. She failed to report his death for more than a year, according to police. Police said she did give the location of the toddler’s remains, buried in the backyard of the Hallock Road property in East Farmingdale, at the residence that she shares with Rodriguez and the other two children.

State police obtained a search warrant and began digging a section of the backyard on Friday, Oct. 5. Police located the toddler’s remains in a shallow grave, along the backyard fenceline at the Hallock Road residence.

Police then identified Rodriguez as a person of interest. Although Rodriguez is not the father of the deceased toddler, he and Kowalczik have two son’s together, the six-year-old who sparked the initial CPS investigation, and a nine-year-old.

Police said that in the course of the investigation, it was reported that the couple’s nine-year-old son was not in attendance, but removed from the home by Rodriguez when the investigation began. Their whereabouts were unknown, and an Amber Alert was activated. Rodriguez and the son were located a short time later; the boy was unharmed, according to police. Kowalczik and the two boys have been removed from the home, to protective services, according to police.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9 at approximately 10:45 a.m., Luigi Lancia, the landlord of the Hallock Road dwelling, the residence where Rodriguez and Kowalczik were renting, arrived with packing boxes and tape in order to evict the couple from the house. Within an hour, Rodriguez’s personal effects had been removed by his own attorney, Byron Divins, Jr. of Divins & Divins PC in Garden City.

“The landlord does not want him [Rodriguez] here anymore, so as an accommodation we’ve taken his personal items and vacated the premises; Mr. Rodriguez will not be coming back,” said Divins.

According to Divins, police have not questioned Rodriguez. “At this time, my understanding is, police consider him a person of interest, but they have not held him in custody.” The family’s remaining things were moved to the curb by the landlord later in the day.

Neighbors of Rodriguez and Kowalczik who were outside of their own homes, observing the eviction, declined comment when approached by the Farmingdale Observer.

A small memorial of flowers and a spool of blue ribbon, which symbolizes protecting children, has begun to appear at the front yard driveway fence. Next to it, a teddy bear with a note attached reads, “Rest in peace now little one.”

The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s autopsy and the state police’s investigations were still ongoing as of Tuesday, Oct. 9. No one has been charged with the death of Justin Kowalczik as of Oct. 9. Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the state police, Troop L Headquarters at (631) 756-3390.

News

There was a time when people knew what they were eating. Frozen meals, fast food chains and ingredients impossible to pronounce were non-existent. Instead, simple ingredients and meals were all made from scratch.

Joann P. Magri, owner of The Divine Olive, is keeping this way of eating alive. Offering hungry customers with a choice in quality foods and ingredients, Magri encourages customers to make their own meals. With shelves stocked full of 18-year-old vinegars straight from Modena, Italy, to extra virgin olive oils infused with various herbs and flavors, the Divine Olive features a variety of organic and vegan products, all 100 percent natural. It even has handmade spaghetti and fresh bread, which perfectly pairs with all of their other products.

It’s a cute little ‘bug.’ What it represents, however, is anything but cute.

An unusual-looking Volkswagen is toodling around Long Island this month. Painted to resemble the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the VW Beetle is part of efforts by the US Department of Agriculture to eliminate the pest, which can destroy 70 percent of an area’s tree canopy, according to the agency. Initially, officials held hope for complete eradication from about 23 square miles of LI designated as infested or at risk by 2016. Instead, this “landcape-altering pest” is spreading.


Sports

It will be difficult to top the exhilaration of being crowned Nassau County Champs, but the 2014 Farmingdale Dalers will begin their defense of the title on Sept. 13 at rival Massapequa—whom they beat to claim the crown.

“The attitude is that we have to prove it again,” said Head Coach Buddy Krumenacker, who has been at the helm since 1993. “But I think we’ll be okay,” he added.

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 


Calendar

Board of Education Special Meeting

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Movies on the Green: The Nut Job

Thursday, Aug. 28

Warbirds Legends Weekend

Friday, Aug. 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com