The shocking probe into the death of an infant who was buried in a shallow backyard grave in Farmingdale is expected to reveal new details as the week goes forward.
Since the story broke last Friday night, State Police have issued no new information about the death of Justin Kowalczik, born in 2009 and who would have been about 3 now. The child was unaccounted for and his death had gone unreported for about a year and a half.
State police dug through the backyard of a Hallock Road couple's home and discovered the remains of a young child in a shallow grave. State Police identified Robert Rodriguez, who lives in the home, as a "person of interest" in the case. Rodriguez is not the child's father.
The infant's mother, Heather Kowalczik and Rodriguez' girlfriend, had told police where they may find the remains of her son, said State Police Major Patrick Regan, commander of Troop L in Farmingdale.
Since then, Rodriguez has refused to cooperate with authorities and has hired a lawyer, according to the New York Daily News.
“He’s certainly someone we feel can provide us with more information about this case than we have,” Regan told the News. “To this point, he has not spoken to us.”
Police seized a "shovel, a photo album, a post-hole digger, a video camera and other items," the Daily News reported.
Meanwhile, Heather Kowalczik gave an interview to The New York Post, which reported that she declined to say what happened to the infant but described Rodriguez as abusive. She said that the police have moved her to a “safety area” to protect her from Rodriguez.
“He [had] barricaded me in the house, [was] preventing me from making calls,” Kowalczik to The Post. “He was pretty much keeping watch of me, he hit me in the head, smacked me in the face if I’d say anything.”
No one has been charged in connection with the infant's death.
An autopsy is being conducted to determine how the infant died, authorities said.
Kowalczik and Rodriguez have two sons together, Alex, 6 and Robert Jr., 9. An Amber Alert for Robert Jr. set in motion the weekend's events. Rodriguez had learned of the police probe and snatched Robert Jr. from the home.
They were found a short time later and the boy was unharmed. Both children are being cared for, reports indicate.