An NYPD officer and his fiancée charged with the murder of the officer's 8-year-old son allegedly kept the Long Island boy in a freezing garage overnight, police said.
During a news briefing on Friday, Jan. 24, following the arrest of Michael Valva, 40, and his fiancée Angela Pollina, 42, at their Center Moriches home, police revealed details surrounding the child's death.
Thomas Valva, a student at East Moriches Elementary School, was found dead in the driveway of his home at 11 Bittersweet Lane, around 9:40 a.m., Friday, Jan. 17. His father told officers he had fallen in the driveway.
Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said the pair took actions that "created a grave risk of death to this child."
According to Hart, the child was kept in the unheated garage overnight with temperatures dipping to below 19 degrees.
The medical examiner’s office ruled the child's death a homicide with hypothermia a contributing factor, Hart said.
When the police arrive following a 911 call, the father was performing CPR on the boy in the basement.
"We have determined Thomas was never in the driveway that morning, and he suffered head and facial injuries that were not consistent with the father's account," Hart said.
Michale Valva has two other sons, 6 and 10. Pollina has three daughters.
Police believe the other children were also subjected to abuse and are working with the Department of Social Services.
All five children are now in a safe location, officials said.
Michael Valva, who is assigned to the Transit Divison, has been suspended without pay, according to the NYPD.
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