Grieving mom of boy who froze to death: I reported abuse by cop dad, fiancee for a year

Kristin Thorne Image
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Parents fight for custody after couple allegedly lets son freeze to death
Kristin Thorne has more on the young boy who died after he was allegedly left to freeze in a garage on Long Island.

CENTER MORICHES, Long Island (WABC) -- Child Protective Services filed abuse and neglect complaints Monday against the Long Island couple accused of murdering 8-year-old Thomas Valva by leaving him in a garage overnight where he froze to death.

NYPD Officer Michael Valva, Thomas' father, and Angela Pollina, Valva's fiancée, were cited in reference to the five other children in their care in the home, including Valva's two surviving sons and Pollina's three daughters.

"I told the judges, if you're not going to remove my children they're going to die," said Thomas' mother, Justyna Zubko-Valva, following the court appearance.

Zubko-Valva said she's been reporting to authorities for years about the alleged abuse by Valva and Pollina of her sons.

A Suffolk County family court judge decided Monday to allow Zubko-Valva to continue to have temporary custody of her sons, who are 10 and 6 years old. She was granted temporary custody last week.

Zubko-Valva lost full custody of her sons in 2018.

Valva and Pollina, both standing in handcuffs before the judge, denied the child abuse complaints.

The fathers of Pollina's daughters were also in court Monday and were given custody of their children.

"I knew this would happen. I've been trying to tell people for a long time," said Gino Cali.

Cali said he hasn't seen his daughter in three years because Pollina prevented him from seeing her.

"I've always wanted to be in my daughter's life. There's not been one day I didn't want to be in my daughter's life," he said.

Michael Ichkhan, the father of Pollina's twin daughters, declined to speak with reporters, but told the judge that he hasn't seen his twin daughters also in three years because Pollina, "held them away from me."

The three girls are currently residing with Pollina's mother.


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