LONGWOOD, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Police are searching for two persons of interest in the case of a missing Central Florida couple and their son, who was found on a stranger's porch in Buffalo, New York.
Police announced on Tuesday that a toddler, identified as 3-year-old Noelvin from Longwood, was found in a box on the porch of a Buffalo home. Police said they were searching for the toddler's parents, 24-year-old Nicole Merced Plaud and 31-year-old Miguel Valentin-Colon, and their family friend, 29-year-old Dhamyl Mirella Roman-Audiffred. The three of them were in Buffalo together, as they made a road trip up there with Noelvin. They were believed to have arrived on Sunday.
When the boy crawled out of the box, "he was saying the car was burning up, the car was burning up. That's all he kept saying," Lois Augusburger said. A vehicle in Buffalo was discovered burned up with the remains of two people inside. They are still trying to identify the remains but authorities have positively identified the vehicle as the same one the parents of the child rented and drove to New York.
“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,” Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo said. “The fire definitely burned extremely long, extremely hot and extinguished itself, which left little remnants of the vehicle.”
In a news conference on Thursday, Rinaldo said that the process of identifying the remains could take upwards of two to four weeks, especially as the "contents inside the vehicle were nothing more than ashes."
Rinaldo also showed surveillance video during the news conference. It was recorded in the early morning hours of September 16th and showed two persons of interests. The surveillance video first shows a person walking in the direction of where the car was found. A second person of interest is seen putting a some cover on his head while another person is seen walking the toddler away.
"Somebody out there is going to be able to look at that video and draw conclusions as to whom they believe is in the video," Rinaldo said. Members of the public who recognize this individual are asked to contact the Buffalo Police Department.
"Clearly that little boy was inside that vehicle when those two human beings were burned in that vehicle, so this is a horrific, horrific crime," Rinaldo added. "I guess we should be thankful that the little boy is alive and safe."
Rinaldo said that "there's no piece of information that's too insignificant in a homicide investigation."
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The child was in the custody of Child Protective Services while authorities made arrangements to reunite him with his grandparents.
While this is still a missing person investigation, homicide investigators are also working this case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.