An NYPD officer and his fiancée have been charged with second degree murder in the death of the officer's eight-year-old son last week.
Michael Valva, 40, and Angela Pollina, 42, have been charged in the death of Thomas Valva in Suffolk County. Police found the child at the couple's Bittersweet Lane home in Center Moriches after receiving a report that an eight-year-old “fell in the driveway of the residence” around 9:40 a.m. on January 17th. Thomas was taken to Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue, where he was pronounced dead.
The boy's mother, 36-year-old Justyna Zubko-Valva, told Newsday that her son, who was a second grader at East Moriches Elementary School, had a mild form of autism. “Thank God the justice is being served,” she said, adding that he “had such an amazing good heart. Everybody who knew him, they instantly fell in love with him. He was just a joy of everybody’s life.”
According to WCBS, Zubko-Valva and Valva were in the midst of a divorce, and Valva had full custody of the child and his two siblings; she hadn't seen any of them for two years. "Unfortunately, I saw him now just looking at his body in a medical examiner's office," she said. "And I do pray that one day we're just going to meet again in heaven. I know he's in heaven. I know he's my angel and I'm going to miss him so much."
Valva said in a statement via his attorney: “As with any tragedy, our office and Mr. Valva are shocked and saddened to learn of the horrible accident that took the life of young Thomas. We mourn his death with family and friends. Since Thomas’ parents are in the midst of a divorce, we are unable to make any further comments at this time."
A GoFundMe was initially set up by Valva to help pay for the child's funeral, but it has since been taken down. It noted that Thomas "passed recently due to a tragic accident." Over $12,000 had been raised before it was removed.
The Suffolk County Medical Examiner is performing an autopsy. No other information has been released about the circumstances around Thomas' death yet.