Bodies found in search for father, missing toddler abducted on Long Island

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CORAM, N.Y. — The bodies of a man and child have been found in Virginia during the search for a father and his 2-year-old son, who was abducted on Long Island, Suffolk police said Wednesday.

Jovani Ligurgo, 2, and his father John Ligurgo III are pictured.

Jovani Ligurgo, 2, was dropped off at John Ligurgo III’s home in Coram Tuesday morning. That afternoon around 3:30 p.m., firefighters responded to a fire at the location. Once the fire was put out, officials realized the home was empty and the father and son were missing.

Two beds in the home had been set on fire, police said.

Around 4:30 p.m., the boy's mother reached out to police because her son was supposed to be dropped off with her, but hadn't been. While waiting for police, she heard about the fire and rushed over.

The father was suspected of taking off with his son, and was possibly in possession of a hunting rifle, officials said.

The NYPD alerted Suffolk County police at 7:30 p.m. that a vehicle matching the description of the father's car had passed into New Jersey. Suffolk County notified police in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to be on the lookout for the vehicle and the father and son.

During a multistate search, the bodies of two people believed to be the missing boy and father were found, Suffolk police said.

The bodies of a man and child were found in a vehicle in Rockbridge County, Virginia. The vehicle is similar to Ligurgo's and had his license plates, police said.

Officials are waiting for positive identification of the bodies. Police are not able to comment on cause of death yet.

The father, who was unemployed, did not have a criminal record. He had a custody arrangement in place with the boy's mother.

An Amber Alert had not been activated when the pair went missing.

In a statement, New York State Police said:

"This is a terrible tragedy and the New York State Police is extremely saddened by the outcome of this case. Based on the preliminary investigation, At the time the request was made an AMBER Alert wasn’t warranted. The father did not have a criminal history, had no history of violence, and had never harmed the child. In addition, once it was established that the vehicle had crossed into New Jersey, the focus of the search moved there. State Police contacted the New York State Intelligence Center to further assist Suffolk PD in their investigation."

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