FARMINGDALE, N.Y. A child welfare investigation has led to a startling discovery of a toddler's corpse on Long Island.
State police said Saturday that they had unearthed the boy's remains from the backyard of a home in Farmingdale, after being told by the boy's mother that he died two years ago, under circumstances that remain unclear.
Authorities said the family never reported the child's death.
No charges have been filed, but authorities said they are confident that an arrest is pending, reports CBS Station WCBS.
The cause of death of 17-month-old Justin Kowalczik is unknown. Investigators are waiting for an autopsy, and would not say if foul play is suspected.
Investigators believe that the child died sometime around the period when the family moved to Long Island, in July 2010. They said that the family has since been pretending to have three children.
Authorities were investigating the family of Robert Rodriguez after their six-year-old was injured. The family told investigators there are three children in their family, but that one was visiting relatives in upstate Middletown. When investigators discovered that it was not true, they began to worry about the safety of the other children.
An Amber Alert was called for the nine-year-old who happened to not show up at school on Friday. It turned out that the nine-year-old was just fine, but in the course of their investigation the backyard of the Rodriguez home was dug up. That's when the remains of Justin were found in a shallow grave.