A toddler starved to death after his father died, police concluded after a nine-month investigation.
The remains of David Conde Sr, 59, and David Conde Jr, two, were found on 15 February inside their residence at the Serenity Manor Apartments in Geneva, a city 45 miles southeast of Rochester. The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) initially described the scene as “disturbing” but said there were no signs of forced entry or foul play.
Authorities have now revealed that autopsy and toxicology results indicated that David died of starvation days after his father died from a “cardiovascular disease.”
“It is believed that Mr Conde passed away first, and the child was not able to obtain any nourishment after his father passed,” a statement by OCSO read, per NBC.
Early into the investigation, OCSO Lieutenant David Cirencione said that Conde had gained custody of the child shortly after his birth and that the mother was not active in his life, the Democrat & Chronicle reported. The department said that it was not unusual for the father and son to stay in their apartment for long periods of time.
Earlier this year, investigators said that deputies responded to the home after receiving a 911 call around 12.45pm on the day of the discovery alerting that Conde and his son had not been seen since 22 January.
Conde’s apartment was well-kept and clean. Authorities found food and clothes for the child, but it was cold inside. There were several heaters in the home but they were all turned off, Mr Cirencione said during a press conference after the bodies were found.
Conde’s body was found in one of the bedrooms, while his young son was found near him.
“It was a very difficult scene for us to work, for all the first responders that had to go in there,” Mr Cirencione said at the time.
He added: “This isn’t something we see every day. It’s not pleasant. It was a very disturbing scene.”
Conde had been living in the apartment for a year, according to authorities, and would spend most of his time inside.
The little boy was remembered in his obituary as “a beautiful baby boy with curly locks, that had a determined smile and sweet disposition.”
David would have turned three years old on 29 October. He reportedly was born with a medical condition and had undergone several surgeries and physical therapy.
At the time of his death, he had just learned to walk. David is survived by his mother, and seven siblings.
Authorities said at the time of his death that the mother was somewhat estranged from the toddler and Conde had custody of him.