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Body of 17-month-old Justin Kowalczik found buried in Long Island backyard for m

State police unearthed the long-buried body of a 17-month-old boy from a Long Island backyard where his family just hosted revelers at an August birthday party.

The remains of tiny Justin Kowalczik were entombed more than two years ago behind the suburban home where his mother kept the dark secret while raising his two half-siblings, cops said Saturday.

No arrests were made after the body was dug up from the far right corner of the Farmingdale backyard — but police quickly identified the mom’s boyfriend as a person of interest.

Robert Rodriguez was not cooperating with state police as they investigated the child’s death, said state police Major Patrick Regan, commander of Troop L in Famingdale.


Stephen Barcelo/For New York Daily News

Justin Kowalczik's body was found in the backyard of a Farmingdale, L.I. house.

The boy’s body was apparently buried in July 2010, shortly after the family moved to Long Island from upstate Orange County.

Rodriguez and the dead boy’s mother, Heather Kowalczik, had two older sons: Robert, 9, and Alex, 6. Heather was the mother of the dead child, but Rodriguez was not Justin’s father.

Neighbors were mortified by the thought of attending the birthday celebration with the little boy’s body so close to the candles and cakes.

“We were all out there having a good time ,” said Takiera McCormick, 32. “The kids were playing on the trampoline. I’m just shocked. There is no explanation.”

The fenced-in backyard was scattered with soccer balls near a goal, with plenty of plants alongside a ceramic deer and a companion frog.

But the grassy expanse behind 1 Hallock Rd. covered a gruesome reality.


Stephen Barcelo/For New York Daily News

Body of 17-month-old Justin Kowalczik was found buried in Long Island backyard for more than 2 years.

“I'm disgusted,” said landlord Louis Lancia. “I don't want them coming back. I want to change the locks.”

Rodriguez, after learning that the body was discovered, grabbed his 9-year-old from school Friday and took off, police said. An Amber Alert was issued, with police locating both father and son.


Tags :  
Locations : Orange County
People : AlexHeather KowalczikJustin KowalczikLouis LanciaPatrick ReganRobert RodriguezStephen BarceloTakiera McCormick

10/06/2012 7:16PM
Body of 17-month-old Justin Kowalczik found buried in Long Island backyard for more than 2 years
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