Police find body of missing Newburgh boy

4-year-old Marc Anthony Bookal

March 24, 2010 9:24:36 PM PDT
Authorities say they have found the body of 4-year-old Marc Anthony Bookal, who had been missing from his Newburgh home since December.

A search area near Colden Street became a crime scene on Wednesday.

Forensic teams were processing evidence all day after the body of a young boy was found Wednesday morning.

It is believed to be the body of Marc Bookal, the 4-year old who disappeared last December from his home in Newburgh. An autopsy will be performed on Thursday.

Bookal was home with his mother's boyfriend who claimed the child wandered outside of the house and vanished. Corey Byrd was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, but despite a massive search throughout the neighborhood and in the frigid Hudson River, investigators came up empty in their search for the boy. The search resumed on Wednesday.

The boy's mother, Christina Bookal, was told about the discovery on Wednesday, but says she's not sure the body is that of her son.

Bookal has stood by Byrd, saying she doesn't believe her boyfriend would harm her son despite the fact Byrd was suspected of abusing his own child 12 years ago.

The 30-year-old Byrd was arrested in 1998 after his own son was hospitalized with a fractured skull, broken ribs, a broken wrist and perferated liver. He was charged with reckless endangerment in that case.

Marc Bookal also suffered burns on his hands in what Christina says was an accident.