Body identified as missing boy

4-year-old Marc Anthony Bookal

April 16, 2010 10:49:42 AM PDT
Authorities in Newburgh have identified a body found last month as missing four-year-old Marc Bookal. Bookal was home last December with his mother's boyfriend who claimed the child wandered outside of the house and vanished.

Corey Byrd was arrested at the time 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.

When the search resumed last month, the remains of a small child were found in the area of South Colden Street near the intersection of Renwick Street, by a cadaver dog.

The child had been secreted within a small wood pile.

Autopsy tests confirmed the remains to be Bookal. The Orange County Medical Examiner, Dr. Charles Catanese, ruled the cause of death to be a homicide.

Investigators are also awaiting the results of further tests on additional evidence seized from the crime scene on South Colden Street, as well as items seized from the boy's home.

The boy's mother, Christina 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. Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the City of Newburgh Police Department at 569-7509, or Lt. Patrick Arnold at 569-7508.


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