A Florida boy was found sleeping in a box on a stranger’s porch, not far from where his parents’ charred bodies were would be found in a rental car—but authorities have reportedly said they have several suspects in custody in the mysterious Buffalo murders and have been holding them for months on other charges.
“We believe they are all substantially involved, if not directly involved in the murders of three persons,” local Buffalo station WIVB quotes an unidentified assistant U.S. attorney as saying in court transcripts, referring to the young boy’s parents Nicole Merced Plaud and Miguel Valentin-Colon along with a third man, Dhamyl Roman, who had been traveling with the family.
The local station reported that the suspects—who were not identified by the station—had been in custody for months on charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute drugs.
However, the suspects are also believed to be connected to the September murders that baffled the Buffalo community after the couple’s 3-year-old son Noelvin Valentin-Colon was found sleeping in a box on the porch of a stranger’s home.
The homeowner who stumbled upon the heartbreaking sight told WKBW the 3-year-old continued to tell her that “the car’s on fire.”
Investigators discovered a burned-out Chrysler Pacifica—which had been rented by Plaud and Valentin-Colon—abandoned nearby with the charred remains of two people inside.
Last week, Buffalo family attorney Robert Vario confirmed to Spectrum News 13 that the remains inside the burning car were of Plaud and Valentin-Colon.
Shortly after the remains were found, Buffalo Police released surveillance video that showed two suspects running away from the burning van, with a young boy in tow, in the early morning hours of Sept. 16.
It was that video that sparked federal agents to examine surveillance video of known drug houses they had been watching for months on Box Avenue, near where the charred van had been discovered, WIVB reports.
The assistant U.S. attorney said that after reviewing the footage, authorities determined the behavior of those connected to the houses was “unique and different and out of sorts,” according to transcripts obtained by the station.
The footage also put the Chrysler Pacifica rental car driven by Noelvin’s parents together with a red Kia Optima that was known to frequent the drug houses on “two or three different occasions” before their deaths, the federal prosecutor said.
On the night of Sept. 15, the red car backed into the driveway of one of the homes and two people can be seen carrying seven or eight large bags to a fire pit behind the house.
Federal agents later determined that human remains were found in the fire pit. Authorities are doing testing now to determine whether the remains belong to Roman, who had been traveling with Plaud and Valentin-Colon when he disappeared.
The footage also shows the red car leaving the house at some point and when it returns, someone is seen wiping the back interior of the car.
“That is striking to law enforcement because they’ve watched these persons for months now; and to see them wiping down the car, trying to destroy evidence, trying to get rid of evidence is concerning,” the federal prosecutor said, according to WIVB.
The suspects have not been formally charged in connection to the murders as of now while the investigation continues, but are facing the federal drug charges against them.
Noelvin has returned to Florida, where he is staying with his grandparents.
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