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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

Over Labor Day Weekend, from Aug. 29-Sept. 1, the American Airpower Museum in East Farmingdale, treated Long Island locals to a once in a lifetime experience, taking visitors high above the clouds during its Warbird Weekend: Salute to Airpower. 

 

To kick off the celebration, on Aug. 28, tens of thousands of Long Islanders who worked in local defense plants, but were never given an official “thanks” for a job well done, were honored by the Museum. 

Sometimes when you do a job for a customer, you really have to expect the unexpected. 

 

In the case of German Cabral and Jason Galvin, energy efficiency advisors with the Farmingdale-based Green Homes Long Island, this was just the case. Who could have imagined that while trying to figure out the best way ot lower a client’s energy bills they would solve a 20-year-old mystery? 

 

On Aug. 20, certified energy efficiency experts did a home energy audit for Plainview resident Seymour Bosworth, with the goal of lowering the homeowner’s energy use by 25 percent or more. 


Sports

 

The 2014 Farmingdale Flag Football season kicked off with a blast on Sept. 7.

 

3rd Grade Division

 

The Texans and the Jets played a great opening weekend game, with the Texans getting the victory.  For the Texans, touchdown pass from Joseph Spano to Jaxon Parisi with 20 seconds in the half broke a tie that the Jets never came back from.  The Jets were led by Brendan O’Keefe, who had two rushing touchdowns and Jimmy Caputo, who picked off a pass at the goal line.

 

Farmingdale State College’s women’s tennis team opened the 2014 season with an 8-1 victory over John Jay College (0-1) on Sept. 3. The Rams (1-0) held a 2-1 advantage after doubles play before sweeping the singles matches.


Calendar

Board of Education - September 17

A Taste of the Town - September 18

Car Free Day Rally - September 18


Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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