Jovani Ligurgo, John Ligurgo III

Suffolk County Police

Missing 2-Year-Old Long Island Boy, Father Found Dead In Virginia

June 06, 2018 - 6:17 pm

CORAM, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- The search for a missing 2-year-old Long Island boy ended in tragedy when police found the bodies of the boy and his father in a vehicle in Virginia.

Little Jovani Ligurgo had been dropped off at his father's home in Coram around 7 a.m. Tuesday. Hours later when the boy wasn't returned to the custody of his mother, who lives in Smithtown, she called police.

Police said 43-year-old John Ligurgo III, who had recently lost his job, set his condo on fire at the Bretton Woods Complex before taking off with the toddler.

When officers responded to the fire call at the home, both the boy and his father were gone.

Toll cameras caught the father's Jeep crossing the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey and police warned the public Ligurgo might have a hunting rifle.

Authorities said Wednesday the Jeep was found in Rockbridge, Virginia.

Both the boy and his father were found dead in the vehicle.

Police are not saying how the child was killed.

The big question is why was an AMBER Alert never issued?

The Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said it was up to the state.

"We followed protocol, we provided the necessary information and details to the State Police and at that time they made the determination not to issue the AMBER Alert," Hart said. "The protocol is that we are presented with facts in the investigation, we reach out to the New York State Police, we present those facts and they make the determination whether it is going to fit the criteria for them to issue an AMBER Alert."

The state police in a statement said, "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."