Buffalo police are investigating whether there is any connection between human remains found in a car fire on Monday and the discovery of a toddler in the city's Black Rock neighborhood.
Officers responding to a call of a burned-out vehicle behind a warehouse on the 100 block of Tonawanda Street just before 6 p.m. Monday discovered what appeared to be two human remains. Earlier in the day, a 3-year-old boy was discovered on the porch of a residence on Potomac Avenue, about a mile away. He is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
In a news briefing Tuesday morning, Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said at this point, detectives cannot positively connect the car fire with the child. But he said the boy's grandparents are in town from Florida and are assisting in the investigation.
"I can't stress enough how complicated of an investigation this is. It is going to take quite some time to put all this together and it's going to take some time for the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office to do the process they need to so that we may positively identify who may or may not be inside of that vehicle," Rinaldo said.
Rinaldo says at this point, police are conducting a missing persons investigation involving Nicole Merced Plaud, 24, the child's mother; Miguel Anthony Valentin-Colon, 31, his father; and Dhamyl Mirella Roman-Audiffred, 29, a family friend. It is believed they arrived to the area from the Orland, Florida area on Sunday night. There are no reports of any missing children locally.
Rinaldo says it will take some time to identify the victims of the car fire. The child, named Noelvin, is said to be in good spirits. CPS is working to reunite him with his grandparents.
Anyone who may have seen the car fire is asked to contact police at 851-4466 or call the city's confidential tipline at 847-2255.
WBFO's Thomas O'Neil-White contributed to this report.