Entries in Child Protective Services (3)


Remains of Infant Who Died 2 Years Ago Found in Family's Back Yard

Comstock/Thinkstock(FARMINGDALE, N.Y.) -- A child welfare check led authorities to discover the remains of an infant whose death two years ago went unreported by his family, New York State Police said Saturday.

Acting on a search warrant, authorities worked overnight to dig up the back yard of the Farmingdale, N.Y. home where the boy's family resides.

The remains of an infant were unearthed and sent to the medical examiner's office to confirm the identity of the child and cause of death.

The corpse is believed to be of Justin Kowalczik. The 17-month-old died in the summer of 2010 and his death went unreported until an investigation was launched last week, police said.

On Wednesday, authorities from the Suffolk County Child Protective Services visited the home of Robert Rodriguez and Heather Kowalczik to conduct a welfare check on their 6-year-old child, police said.

During that time, authorities say they became aware that Justin, who is one of Kowalczik's three children, was not accounted for.

The New York State Police interviewed Heather Kowalczik, who told police Justin died shortly after the family moved from Orange County, N.Y.

During the interview, authorities said they were also able to pinpoint a location in the family's backyard where the boy had allegedly been buried.

Rodriguez, who is the father of the couple's two older children, was identified as a person of interest and sought by police.

Authorities became alarmed when the couple's 9-year-old son did not show up for school on Friday.

An Amber Alert was issued and the child was located, police said.

The couple's two children have been placed in protective custody, police said.

Neither Rodriguez nor Kowalczik have been charged.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


5 Kids in Protective Custody After 2 Found Bound in Walmart Parking Lot

Douglas County Sheriff's Office(LAWRENCE, Kan.) -- Five Kansas children are in protective custody after the two youngest were found bound and blindfolded in a far corner of a Walmart parking lot.

The family appeared to have been temporarily living in the vehicle where the windows had been covered with clothing and cardboard. In addition to the tied-up children, police discovered three other children inside the car. The parents have been arrested for child abuse and endangerment.

Authorities are investigating the mysterious circumstances around the strange discovery.

On Wednesday, police in Lawrence, Kan., responded to a Walmart after a caller reported seeing what appeared to be a young child bound and blindfolded outside of a car.

Police found two children, ages 5 and 7, bound outside of the car.

"Their legs were bound, their arms were bound behind their backs and they were wearing, at the minimum, blindfolds," Lawrence police Sgt. Trent McKinley told ABC News Thursday.

McKinley did not know if the children's mouths were covered.

The officer spotted an adult male, now identified as Adolfo Gomez, in the vicinity of the car and tried to make contact with him. Gomez, 52, resisted the officer's contact and when the officer tried to detain him, the man suddenly tried to get back in the vehicle.

Officers deployed a Taser to subdue Gomez and take him into custody.

The police then located three other children, ages 12, 13 and 15. McKinley could not comment on what police have discovered from speaking to the children.

Authorities then learned that a woman, believed to be the children's mother, was shopping inside of the Walmart. Deborah Gomez, 43, was located inside the store and taken into custody.

The family said they were traveling from their home in Northlake, Ill., to visit relatives in Arizona. Their vehicle apparently experienced mechanical problems on Monday night, which forced them to stop at the Walmart.

Police believe the family stayed in the Walmart parking lot between Monday and the arrests on Wednesday morning.

In terms of whether it appeared that the family had been living in the car, McKinley said, "Certainly, at least on a temporary basis. We don't have any information that indicated that they spent the night at a hotel."

Walmart is cooperating with police and sharing surveillance footage from the parking lot, though McKinley said the car was parked at the fringe of security camera range.

The couple was expected to make their first court appearance on Thursday afternoon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Isabel Celis: Missing Tucson Girl's Brothers Removed From Care of One Parent

ABC News(TUSCON, Ariz.) -- The two older brothers of missing Tucson girl Isabel Celis were removed from the care of one parent on Friday after Child Protective Services consulted with police.

Authorities declined to say which parent, Sergio or Becky, has custody of the children.

"There's a lot of details that I can't share with you: what got us to this point, what was that information," Lt. Fabian Pacheco of the Tucson Police Department told ABC News' Tucson affiliate.

Isabel Celis was reported missing by her father around 8 a.m. April 21 after her mother left for work and her father went to wake her up.

The six-year-old was not in her room, and a bedroom window was opened with the screen removed, police said.

The little girl was last seen around 11 p.m. April 20, when she was put to bed.

Police haven't eliminated anyone as a suspect, including the Celis family. They also haven't eliminated the possibility that investigators will find Isabel and bring her home safely.

After Isabel was reported missing, police interviewed 15 registered sex offenders in the neighborhood.

Police have searched homes in the family's neighborhood, dug through a nearby landfill and searched waterways and drainage systems in Tucson. More than 1,000 tips have poured in regarding the six-year-old's disappearance, police said.

Isabel's parents made several public, emotional pleas for the safe return of their daughter in the days after her disappearance.

"Just please, please, to the person or persons who have Isabel, tell us what you want. We will do anything for her. We're looking for you, Isa," Sergio Celis said tearfully.

The search has also extended into Mexico, where authorities in the state of Sonora have been circulating photos of Isabel.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio