Police: Florida toddler found in Buffalo near burned car with bodies inside

Child's parents considered missing

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor, Jerry Askin - Reporter

A 3-year-old Florida boy was found Monday morning asleep on the porch of a house in Buffalo near a burned car with human remains inside and now, authorities are trying to locate the toddler's parents, according to Buffalo Police officials. 

Buffalo police Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said Tuesday that the child was found around 8 a.m. Monday as authorities were investigating the charred vehicle. Authorities don't know whose remains were inside or even what type of vehicle it was because the damage was so bad.

The fire is believed to have happened around 3 a.m. Monday but an exact timeline has not yet been established.

"The fire definitely burned extremely long, extremely hot and extinguished itself," Rinaldo said.

The Buffalo News reports the boy was in good spirits but unable to tell investigators his name or his caretaker's name.

Rinaldo said the boy's parents -- 24-year-old Nicole Merced Plaud and 31-year-old Miguel Anthony Valentin-Colon -- and family friend Dhamyl Mirella Roman-Audiffred, 29, are considered missing at this point. It's too early to say if any of them were in the burned vehicle, he said. All three are from the Orlando area.

The toddler lived with his parents in Longwood and they're believed to have arrived in the Buffalo area on Sunday.

Dhamyl Mirella Roman-Audiffred, Nicole Merced Plaud and Miguel Anthony Valentin-Colon

The boy's grandparents, who are also from Florida, have been in contact with authorities. Right now, the boy is in Child Protective Services' custody but authorities hope to reunite him with his family before too long.

"The family has been beyond cooperative. Not only is the family rejoiceful that their 3-year-old has been found, but they're also missing three other family members," Rinaldo said.

The child's paternal grandmother, Zenaida Colon, said she's hoping to get custody of her grandson Noevlin. 

"He's under child care custody right now but im praying that they return him back to us," Colon said. "His parents loved him very much and was always with him. They were great parents."

Colon told CBS Buffalo she believes Valentin and his girlfriend Mersed may be the people whose bodies were found inside the burned car.

She said the family of three, plus Roman-Audiffred, were vacationing up north. She said the last time she talked to them was Saturday. 

"It's not uncommon for us to find out they went on a road trip," Colon said.

Records show the couple is linked to an address in Longwood. No one answered the door Tuesday, but neighbors said they saw Longwood police at the home Monday. Longwood police confirm a well-being check was requested at a home on Monday. 

Police are asking anyone who might have seen the fire on Potomac Avenue or who has information about the boy's parents to call the homicide unit at 716-851-4466. Tips can be submitted anonymously by calling 716-847-2255.

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