Huffpost Crime

Justin Kowalczik, 17-Month-Old, Found Dead, Buried In Long Island Backyard; Robert Rodriguez Eyed

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JUSTIN KOWALCZIK BURIED
The body of Justin Kowalczik, just 17 months old when he died, was found in the backyard of a Long Island home Saturday. | CBS 2

An infant was found dead and buried in a Long Island backyard -- and his parents never reported him missing.

The body of 17-month-old Justin Kowalczik was unearthed Saturday at the home of a Farmingdale, NY mother of three, according to the New York Post. The mother's boyfriend, Robert Rodriguez, was immediately named as a person of interest in the case and is "not cooperating" with the investigation, officers told the paper.

The horrific find came after cops were called to check on the welfare of Rodriguez and Heather Kowalczik's 6-year-old son with autism, Alex. He and another of Kowalczik's sons, 9-year-old Robert Jr., were found to be fine.

During an interview with Kowalczik, police say she revealed that her 17-month-old -- who was born in 2009 -- was buried in the backyard and his death had gone unreported.

"I just broke down. I had to tell them what Robert did," Kowalczik, 29, told the paper.

Authorities started digging up the yard and soon found the infant's corpse, three feet down near a fence in the yard, according to the New York Daily News.

Rodriguez, who was gone at the time of the search, reportedly grabbed Robert Jr. and left after learning that the body was found. Rodriguez was located and taken into custody for questioning. He hasn't been arrested.

Kowalczik told the Post that Rodriguez was abusive and had "barricaded" her in the house.

"He was pretty much keeping watch of me, he hit me in the head, smacked me in the face if I’d say anything," she said.

Neighbors reportedly knew about the infant's existence, but told reporters that Kowalczik claimed she was in a car accident and lost him during pregnancy.

It's unclear why the couple kept the baby's death a secret, CBS New York reported.

Also on The Huffington Post

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