BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “He recognized us, hugged us, kissed us,” said Zenaida Colon, who has waited to see her three-year-old grandson Noelvin for the first time since he appeared on a Buffalo porch Monday morning. His parents have been missing ever since.
It was the first time the toddler had seen anyone he recognized in two and a half days. He remains in the custody of Child Protective Services, which chose a neutral site for the boy’s grandparents to spend two hours with him Wednesday morning.
“We all sat on the floor,” said Zenaida. “He was a little timid and first and then he just started interacting with us as normal family as we always do.”
It was a moment of normalcy amid two strange mysteries. The Florida boy turned up on a Potomac Avenue porch Monday morning at around 8 a.m. Buffalo Police believe it was about five hours before that, at about 3 a.m. Monday, when a vehicle burned with human remains inside in the 100 block of Tonawanda Street. The distance between the two is just over a half mile.
News 4 spoke with several business owners along that path. All had been visited by detectives, but none said they had surveillance video of anything suspicious. One said he carefully scanned five hours of his tape facing Niagara Street but saw no child walking by and no one carrying a child in that time frame.
The spot where the vehicle with humans remains burned is remote, behind a warehouse. The fire may have only been visible from the Scajaquada Expressway. A metal bar is in place to keep vehicles out from behind the warehouse, but a source tells News 4 that the reason the metal bar is now bent is because the driver of the vehicle must have driven through the metal bar to get back there.
News 4 also learned that Dhamyl Roman, the close family friend who was believed to be traveling with the parents of Noelvin, used to live in Webster, New York, near Rochester just a few years ago before moving to Orlando.
They are all pieces of a puzzle which police and relatives are trying to sort out, according to Louis Merced, the maternal grandfather of Noelvin.
“I want to say thank you to all you guys and everybody helping us try to figure out this thing.”
Buffalo Police are still trying to determine whether there is a link between the boy and the burned out vehicle with human remains. It may take weeks before those remains can be positively identified.