When officers were called to the home of a New York City Police officer they discovered an 8-year-old boy in a bad way.
Officers were told by Officer Michael Valva that his son Thomas had fell in the driveway and lost consciousness. But officers were about to discover a story that was quite different.
Michael was performing CPR on his son when officers arrived at their Long Island home on a cold January morning.
Garage temperature was ’19 degrees’
The 8-year-old was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead and his body temperature was recorded at 76 degrees Fahrenheit ( 24.4 degrees Celsius); normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Thomas Valva was subjected to freezing temperatures in the home’s unheated garage overnight, when the outside temperature was 19 degrees,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart announced in a news conference.
The medical examiner said hypothermia was a major factor in Thomas’s death, added Hart, as reported by the The Washington Post.
Hart said investigators also determined that injuries to the boy’s face and head were “inconsistent” with the timing of events and the story that Michael Valva gave Suffolk police, according to the news article.
Five other children were in the home with Thomas: his 6-year-old and 10-year-old brothers and Michael’s fiancee Angela Pollina’s 6-year-old daughter and 11-year-old twin girls.
Not the end of investigation
These children were taken from the home on an emergency basis and placed in a “safe environment,” Hart said.
“We are still investigating the extent of the abuse and if it extended to all the children,” Hart said. “These arrests are not the end of the investigation.”
Suffolk County police charged Valva, 40, and his fiancee, Angela Pollina, 42, with second-degree murder and accused them of engaging in conduct that “created a grave risk of death to this child,” Hart added.
Such a heartbreaking case! I hope the remaining children can find a safe and loving environment after such a horrifying experience.