Police searching for the parents of a 3-year-old Florida boy found sleeping on a porch in upstate New York were working Tuesday to determine whether suspected human remains found in a burned-out car nearby are connected.
A Buffalo resident found the boy Monday morning in a box she set out for neighborhood cats.
After receiving no reports of a missing child, police posted the boy's picture on social media. The post was seen by relatives in Florida, who flew to Buffalo and contacted police.
Later Monday, police responded to a report of a burned car behind a warehouse less than a mile away from where the boy was found and discovered what appeared to be human remains. They were being examined by forensics experts.
"The vehicle was badly, badly damaged from the fire, almost to the point that we cannot tell what type of vehicle it is or the contents of the vehicle," Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said. "The fire definitely burned extremely long, extremely hot and extinguished itself, which left little remnants of the vehicle."
Police listed the boy's parents, Nicole Merced Plaud, 24, and Miguel Anthony Valentin-Colon, 31, as missing, along with a family friend, Dhamyl Mirella Roman-Audiffred, 29. All are from the Orlando area and are believed to have arrived in Buffalo on Sunday evening, police said.
"As of right now, this is a missing persons investigation," said Rinaldo, who said the boy lived with both parents.
The child was in the custody of Child Protective Services while authorities made arrangements to reunite him with his grandparents, he said.