LYONS, N.Y. — The skeletal remains of a 1-year-old were found on an upstate New York farm where a woman’s body was discovered buried last spring, prompting an intensive search for her baby son who had been reported missing along with her, authorities said Tuesday.
Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts announced during a news conference that police returned last week to the same area and found the remains scattered in woods where 18-year-old Selena Hidalgo-Calderon’s body was found in May. The newly discovered remains, consistent with those of a 1-year-old child, were sent to the medical examiner’s office in Rochester for identification, Virts said.
Owen Hidalgo-Calderon was last seen with his mother May 16 at a farm in Sodus, where they lived with her boyfriend. Her body was found a week later in a bag buried on the farm, located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Rochester.
Virts has said the boyfriend, 26-year-old Everardo Donoteo-Reyes, admitted to burying her, but not killing her. Donoteo-Reyes, who’s from Mexico, remains in the county jail, where he has been held since being charged with evidence tampering after Hidalgo-Calderon’s body was found.
More than 1,000 law enforcement officers and other searchers spent nearly two weeks combing about 700 acres of farmland and woods after the mother and baby were reported missing. Scaled-down searches continued up until last week, when remains appearing to be those of a 1-year-old were found near and in a shallow grave disturbed by animals, Virts said.
“It’s my belief that Reyes buried him there and the disturbance we saw was from an animal digging at that site,” Virts said.
The remains were found last week were about a quarter-mile from where the mother’s body was discovered in May, he said. Hidalgo-Calderon and Donoteo-Reyes lived in a house nearby and worked on the farm. She would’ve turned 19 this past Monday, Virts said.
Officials said it could take weeks before a positive identification is made for the child’s remains.
Authorities haven’t released a cause of death for Salena Hidalgo-Calderon, a native of Guatemala.