Buffalo, New York: A 3-year-old Florida boy found sleeping on a porch in Buffalo will go home with his grandmother, a judge decided Friday, while authorities try to determine whether the remains of two people found in a burned car are those of his parents.
A Family Court judge granted custody of Noelvin Valentin to Zenaida Colon, who traveled from the Orlando area after recognizing her grandson in news reports.
"I'm super excited. I am overwhelmed. I'm happy," Colon told reporters outside the court building.
Police released photos of the boy in an effort to learn his identity after a resident found him the morning of Sept. 16 in a box she had left out for stray cats on her porch.
Later that day, the charred remnants of a vehicle that had been rented by the boys' parents in Florida were discovered less than a mile away, behind a warehouse. Police are awaiting results of forensic testing to determine the identities of the remains found inside.
The parents, Nicole Merced Plaud, 24, and Miguel Anthony Valentin-Colon, 31, were traveling with the boy and a family friend, Dhamyl Mirella Roman-Audiffred, 29, when they arrived in Buffalo on Sept. 15, police said.
All three adults are considered missing.
Surveillance video released by police last week shows two unidentified adults walking with the child away from where the car was found. The dark and grainy video was taken around 3 a.m. Sept. 16. It appears to show a bright flash believed by police to be the car igniting as two men lead the child away.
One of the men appears to be carrying one or two gas cans.
"We're pretty certain (Noelvin's) going to be needing some counseling to help him get through these trying times," Zenaida Colon's attorney, Robert Vario, said. "We're sure he was traumatized by the event that he may or may not have witnessed, and we're just glad this is over with."
Police said it could take weeks to identify the human remains. Investigators have not said why the group traveled to Buffalo.