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3-year-old boy found sleeping on stranger's porch, police in contact with grandparents

Posted: 11:15 AM, Sep 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-18 10:06:49-04
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The mystery surrounding a little boy found sleeping on a Buffalo porch continues to grow.

Buffalo Police updated the media late Tuesday morning, describing this as a, "very, very complicated case." Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo says they are working closely with the boy's grandparents who recently arrived from Florida.

The boy's grandmother tells 7 Eyewitness News reporter Ali Touhey the boy's name is Noelvin and that they intend to take custody of him. Meantime, we're told, the toddler's parents, 24-year-old Nicole Mersed and 31-year-old Miguel Valentin, haven't made contact with their family since Sunday. According to police, they will be issuing pictures of Noelvin's parents and a family friend, anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact the department's homicide unit at 716-851-4466.

The boy's grandmother tried to take custody of him, but that request was temporarily denied. She's expected to be back in Buffalo in October for a custody hearing.

During Tuesday's news conference, investigators also issued an update regarding a burned-out car discovered on Tonawanda Street, roughly one mile from where the little boy was found. Police are now working to identify human remains found inside that vehicle. Investigators believe the fire burned extremely hot and eventually extinguished itself. The vehicle, police say, was so badly damaged by the fire they are having a hard time identifying its make and model. Investigators believe the vehicle fire started around 3:00 am on Monday and may have been visible from the elevated portion of Rte. 198 or from the Tonawanda-Niagara Street Corridor. Anyone who may have witnessed smoke, flames or anything unusual around that time is asked to contact the Buffalo Police Homicide Unit at 716-851-4466.

At this point, police are not linking the two incidents. However, the homeowner who discovered the boy around 7:30am Monday told 7 Eyewitness News the boy repeatedly referenced a vehicle on fire.
"I said where's your mommy, honey? He said 'the car's on fire.' That's all he kept saying," Lois Ausburger said.

According to police, the boy was found around 8 a.m sleeping in a box meant for stray cats on a porch on Potomac Avenue.

This image of the boy with a Buffalo police officer was shared with 7 Eyewitness News.

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During Tuesday's news conference, investigators also issued an update regarding a burned-out car discovered on Tonawanda Street, roughly one mile from where the little boy was found. Police are now working to identify human remains found inside that vehicle. Investigators believe the fire burned extremely hot and eventually extinguished itself. The vehicle, police said, was so badly damaged by the fire they are having a hard time identifying the make and model. Investigators believe the vehicle fire started around 3am on Monday and may have been visible from the elevated portion of the 198 or from the Tonawanda-Niagara Street Cooridor. Anyone who may have witnessed smoke, flames or anything unusual around that time is asked to contact the Buffalo Police Homicide Unit at 716-851-4466.

On Monday evening, a burned out car was found about a mile away, on Tonwanda Street, with a body inside. Right now police have not indicated whether the incidents are linked. The homeowner who discovered the boy at around 7:30am Monday told 7 Eyewitness News that the boy repeatedly referenced a vehicle on fire.

"I said where's your mommy, honey? He said 'the car's on fire.' That's all he kept saying," Lois Ausburger said.