Autism support group marches in honor of Thomas Valva
The nonprofit group "Specialized Autism Support and Information" held a march in Hecksher State Park Saturday morning in honor of Thomas Valva – the 8-year-old boy who died last month allegedly at the hands of his father.
Prosecutors said Thomas Valva was forced to sleep in a freezing garage by Michael Valva, an NYPD officer, and his fiancée, Angela Pollina. Officials said he died of hypothermia, though his father had told authorities that his death was the result of a fall in their driveway at their home in Center Moriches.
They are both facing murder and endangering the welfare of a child charges.
The family's former nanny says Thomas and his brother, both having autism, were often mistreated.
On Saturday morning, Thomas' mother Justya Zubko-Valva said she was grateful for the outpouring of support.
"It feels just so good knowing that there are people out there who truly care about my son Tommy and all the children that could be in the same situation as Tommy," she said.
News 12 reported that Zubko-Valva reported the alleged abuse to Child Protective Services, but nothing was done.