Mother Of Murdered 8-Year-Old Awarded Custody Of Other Sons

Sophia Hall
January 27, 2020 - 3:51 pm
Justyna and Thomas Valva

Justyna Zubko-Valva


CENTER MORICHES, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — The mother of 8-year-old Thomas Valva, who died after his father allegedly locked him in a freezing garage overnight, was awarded custody of her other two sons on Monday.

Justyna Zubko-Valva says she fought for two years to get back custody of her three sons and blamed the system for failing her family.

“The judges from my case caused my son to die,” she tells WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.

Their father, NYPD officer Michael Valva, 40,  and his fiancée, 42-year-old Angela Pollina, had full custody of the three boys. Police say they were living in a house of abuse in Center Moriches.

Authorities have said the boys were starved, hit, forced to wear diapers even though they were old enough to use the bathroom themselves and locked in the freezing garage overnight.

Their mother was given temporary custody of the boys after their father was charged in the death of 8-year-old Thomas – who was found dead in the garage with a body temperature of just 76 degrees.

Zubko-Valva says she’s grateful her two other sons are safe with her, and recalled their first day together as “heartbreaking.”

“I saw my kids eating breakfast so fast, just completely afraid that this is the only meal he's going to get for the day,” she explained.

The officer and his fiancée are now facing murder charges.

Zubko-Valva says she warned the courts multiple times that her children were unsafe in the custody of their father.

“I told the judges, if you’re not going to remove my children, they're gonna die,” she said.

In a statement Suffolk County's Social Services said the couple was investigated by CPS and they are making sure all protocols were followed.

A funeral for 8-year old Thomas is set for Thursday morning.