A Family Court judge granted custody of Noelvin Valentin, who was found sleeping on a porch in Buffalo, New York, to Zenaida Colon, his grandmother, on Friday, Sept. 26, The Associated Press reported.
“I’m super excited. I am overwhelmed. I’m happy,” Colon, a resident of Florida, told reporters outside the court building.
Three-year-old Noelvin was found alone on a stranger’s porch on the morning of Sept. 16. Colon traveled from the Orlando area after recognizing her grandson in news reports.
Zenaida Colon (left) and Catherine Merced, grandmas of Noelvin, just visited him at social services. Colon wants custody. She is flying home to Florida to work with social workers there. Says she will return to Buffalo as many times as necessary. pic.twitter.com/GM100l0mUj
— Maki Becker (@makibecker) September 18, 2019
Police said that Noelvin with his parents, Nicole Merced Plaud, 24, and Miguel Anthony Valentin-Colon, 31, were traveling with a family friend, Dhamyl Mirella Roman-Audiffred, 29, when they arrived in Buffalo on Sept. 15.
His parents’ destroyed rental car was discovered less than a mile away, behind a warehouse on the same day police found him on the porch. Police are awaiting results of forensic testing to determine the identities of the remains found inside. His parents and their friend, are all from Florida—they remain missing.
There is suspicion that his parents are dead as the result of the vehicle fire.
Police are seeking two people of interest shown in surveillance video leading a child, believed to be Noelvin, from the vehicle as it bursts into flames.
Colon’s attorney, Robert Vario, said that Noelvin will be reunited with his grandmother after a medical exam, according to WGRZ.
“We’re pretty certain (Noelvin’s) going to be needing some counseling to help him get through these trying times,” Vario said. “We’re sure he was traumatized by the event that he may or may not have witnessed, and we’re just glad this is over with.”