An NYPD officer who is charged with the murder of his 8-year-old son has retired from the police force several months after his son’s death in January.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Thomas Valva, 8, died the morning after he was forced to spend the night in an unheated garage, with no blankets, at his father’s home in Center Moriches, New York. Thomas’s father Michael Valva, a NYPD traffic cop, and his fiancée Angela Pollina, who lived in the Long Island home with Thomas and his two brothers, were both charged with second-degree murder and multiple counts of endangering a child.
According to Center Moriches-Eastport Patch and multiple New York-based news outlets, Michael Valva, who was 40 at the time of his son’s death, has resigned from the NYPD after having been suspended without pay shortly after Thomas died.
Reports indicate that the resignation means Valva will not face any disciplinary action. And Valva’s attorney John LoTurco told Patch that his client is not expected to lose his pension.
Thomas Valva’s death investigation has been focused within Suffolk County, initially led by Suffolk County police. The NYPD has not been involved with the murder investigation as the death took place outside of New York City.
A medical examiner determined that Thomas’s death was a result of homicide with hypothermia as a major contributing factor. As previously reported, recordings taking from surveillance camera at Valva’s home appear to show that Thomas’s father was mocking the boy, who was unable to walk after spending the night in the garage in well below freezing temperatures. The footage also showed Thomas shivering and pleading to use a bathroom the night before he died. The recording, along with additional evidence, strongly suggests it was not the first time Thomas or his brothers were forced to spend the night in the garage.
Thomas’s mother Justyna Zubko-Valva, who also lives in Suffolk County, has been outspoken about her desperate attempts to save her children from what she believed was severe, ongoing abuse at their father’s home. Michael Valva had full custody of the three boys after he filed a CPS complaint against his ex-wife in 2017; a complaint she said was based on false allegations.
Zubko-Valva told CrimeOnline she had made multiple reports to CPS about her suspicions that her sons were being neglected, underfed and abused, and claimed when she tried to file a police report at the Suffolk County precinct, an officer laughed at her.
Multiple agencies in Suffolk County have since announced investigations into Thomas Valva’s death, but the status of these investigations are unknown.
According to Patch, Thomas’s mother filed a $200 million wrongful death suit against school representatives and Suffolk County officials.
Valva’s lawyer indicated to Patch that trial preparations have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic. The attorney also said that the Thomas Valva and Angela Pollina now have “antagonistic” defenses.
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