Center Moriches home where 8-year-old Thomas Valva froze to death to be auctioned off on April 11
CENTER MORICHES, N.Y. -- The house where 8-year-old Thomas Valva froze to death is in foreclosure.
It will be auctioned to the highest bidder on the same day that Angelina Pollina is sentenced for Thomas' murder. The boy's father, former NYPD officer Michael Valva, is already serving 25 years to life.
Prosecutors called it the "house of horrors" -- 11 Bittersweet Lane in Center Moriches.
The front door is now chained. The garage is boarded up. It's where, inside, Thomas Valva froze to death on a winter day in 2020.
His father, Michael, is already in prison, and on April 11, Valva's ex-fiance, Pollina, will be sentenced on the very day their former home will be auctioned to the highest bidder.
"Everybody would like to see these children regain something from the sale of this house. Sadly, the bank that mortgaged the house is owed the money," said Lisa Kennedy of Eric Ramsay Realty.
The bank gets the money from the in-person auction to be held at Brookhaven Town Hall.
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Jurors spoke after the trial, saying there's more to investigate, more to understand, and much more to reform.
"We worked hard to reform the system immediately after Thomas' death, but there are lingering concerns," Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn said.
Hahn served on the special committee investigating Thomas' death. It passed the Child Protective Services Act, enhancing safety training, stricter supervision, smaller caseloads, and better coordination with law enforcement.
Hahn says there must be an outside independent entity to appeal to, given that school teachers and psychologists reported abuse, but claims were ruled "unfounded."
"The problem comes from the fact that we can't get enough employees to staff that department because the salaries are simply too low," Suffolk County Legislator Trish Bergin said.
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The CPS commissioner and others in the administration said they were unable to speak to CBS2 at this time because they and others in the county are being sued for $200 million in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Justyna Zubko-Valva, Thomas' mother.
Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney was elected a year after Thomas' death.
"Given my position and the power of my office, I think there are things we can do that legislators and others just can't," Tierney said.
He said confidential investigations are underway.
"We do it because we want to make sure something like this never happens again," Tierney said.
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