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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

The Farmingdale Public Library was recently the site of the rumbling feet and powerful roars of the mighty dinosaur, come to life in modern times... at least in the form of some dedicated actors playing the parts to the hilt for the sake of education and fun. 

 

The Wildlife Theater, a part of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s educational department, was on-hand at the library on April 17, bringing its unique form of lighthearted children’s entertainment containing vital information about the world in which kids live, and the fascinating creatures that share it with them.

 

The Wildlife Theater works out of the Central Park Zoo, traveling around the five boroughs of New York—as well as Long Island—to put on shows at venues such as elementary schools, libraries, and hospitals; they specialize in taking their conservation message along with them in the form of plays about animals and the environment, according to the Conservation Society’s Michael Birch.

Marc Anthony Bynum was able to make a prize-winning dish out of the ingredients in the “mystery basket”—matzah, salty peanuts, dried strawberries, and cocoa nibs—to win the Food Network's TV show Chopped in June 2010. Two months later, he returned to the show for a second time, where he excelled through the appetizer round with a combination of dandelion greens, Greek yogurt, liverwurst and catfish, which allowed him to move forward through the entrée and dessert rounds to win. But it was the combination of geoduck, Buddha’s hand, black radishes and waffle cones that did him in when he appeared in the grand finale of the Chopped Tournament in September that year. 


Sports

The Over the Hill Gang softball league opened its 39th season Friday, April 11 with six games at Allen Park.  Bar-Boy began with an impressive 25-8 win over Bethpage Pharmacy. After scoring one run in the first, BB exploded for 7 runs in the 2nd inning and never looked back.    For the night, Ken Kuzman went 4 for 6 with 2 RBIs, Steve Kirk went 4 for 5 with 2 RBIs, Frank Badalmenti went 5 for 6 with 5 RBIs and a homer, pitcher John Czarnecki went 5 for 6 with 5 RBIs, rookie Jason Cinnelli went 3 for 6 with a homer and manager Ken Kohlmann went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs. 

Farmingdale athletes Franklin Diaz, Billy Allen, and Chris Daily put on award winning performances during the 37th annual All Round Foods 10 kilometer run for ASPIRE, through the streets of Plainview and Old Bethpage on April 5. 

 

Diaz crossed the finish line at the H.B. Mattlin Middle School in Plainview in 34 minutes and 34 seconds, for sixth place overall and first in the 30-34 age group. Allen finished in seventh place overall with a time of 35 minutes and 26 seconds, to earn the third place trophy in the 20-24 age group. Daily scored in 38 minutes, 45 seconds, in 17th place overall and first in the 50-54 age group, in what was one of the most competitive races on Long Island in the past year. 


Calendar

Boating Class - April 22

Board of Fire Commissioners - April 24

Earth Day Fair - April 27 

Tuesday, April 22

Power Squadrons Boating Class

On April 22, Captree Power Squadron will be holding boating classes at Howitt Middle School, located at 70 Van Cott Ave.,from 7-9 p.m. Upon course completion students will be issued certificates that are accepted by local police, bay constables, and the U.S. Coast Guard. All classes take place five successive weeks on same day as start. There is a fee of $50 to attend, which will cover the cost of books and materials. For more information call Gene at 631-242-6117 or Charlie at 631-957-8604.

 

Planning Board

The next meeting of the Farmingdale Planning Board will be held on April 22, at 7 p.m.

 

FBHS 50th Anniversary Dinner

On April 22, the Farmingdale Bethpage Historical Society will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special Founders’ Day Dinner at 6:30pm at the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, located off of Rt. 109 in West Babylon. 

 Thursday, April 24

Board of Fire Commissioners

The next meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Fire Commissioners will be held on April 24, at 8 p.m., inside Village Hall, located at 361 Main St.

Saturday, April 26

Getting By With A Little Help From Our Friends

On April 26, YES Community Counseling Center invite you to attend a special concert/fundraiser at the Nutty Irishman in Farmingdale. 

 

The concert, “Getting By with a Little Help from Our Friends,” begins at 3:30 p.m. and will feature the dynamic music of Half Step, The Therapy Band, and Something In Between.  

 

Tickets are $40 per person and includes a dinner buffet. Proceeds raised will go to help ensure the YES Community Counseling Center has resources to respond to anyone requesting their help.

Sunday, April 27

Earth Day Fair

On April 27, the Village of Farmingdale will be host Earth Day festivities at noon on the Village Green located along Main Street downtown. 

Baseball Parade

 

On April 27, the Village of Farmingdale will hold its annual Baseball Parade. Beginning at 2 p.m., participants will gather outside the Howitt Middle School, located at 70 Van Cott Ave., before marching down Main St. to Allen Park, at 45 Motor Ave. 

High School Go Green Club

 

On April 27, Farmingdale High School’s Go Green Club will celebrate Earth Day from noon-4 p.m. on the village green along Main St. in Farmingdale.

St. Kilian RC Church Blood Drive

 

St. Kilian Church along with the New York Blood Center will be coordinating a blood drive on April 27 from 8:15 a.m.- 2:15 p.m. The drive will take place in the St. Kilian Auditorium on Cherry Street in Farmingdale. For information on St. Kilian’s Blood Drive or to schedule an appointment, please contact Ray Redina at 516-523-7130 or Chris Hillier at 631-445-9026. Your donation will help to save up to three lives. Our community hospitals need your aid. Bring your ID with signature or photo. Eligibility criteria include you to be a minimum weight of 110 lbs., age 16-75 (16-olds need to have parental permission, 76-year olds and over need a doctor’s note), eat well, drink fluids and no tattoos for the past 12 months. For questions concerning medical eligibility call the New York Blood Center at 1-800-688-0900. 

Monday, April 28

Board of Trustees Worksession

The next public work session of the Village of Farmingdale Board of Trustees will be held at 7 p.m., on April 28, inside Village Hall, located at 361 Main St. in Farmingdale. 

Tuesday, April 29

Farmingdale PTA Council

The next meeting of the Farmingdale School District PTA Council will be held at 7 p.m., on April 29, inside Howitt Middle School, located at 70 Van Cott Ave. in Farmingdale. 

Thursday, May 1

Chamber of Commerce Meeting

The next general meeting of the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce will be held on May 1, at noon, at Dominican Restaurant 4, located at 305 Main St. in Farmingdale. 

Farmingdale High School Honor Society

 

On May 1, Farmingdale High School’s technology honor society will hold its annual induction ceremony at the American Airpower Museum, located at 1230 New Highway in Farmingdale. 

Saturday, May 3

Mother’s Day Family Fair

On May 3, Friends of the Farmingdale Public Library will be holding a “giant” Mother’s Day Family Fair, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Come buy a present for Mom or find just the thing you wanted for yourself or a family member. The Farmingdale Library will also be holding a book sale in conjunction with the fair. For more information, call 516-454-6813 or 516-244-0829.



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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