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Police search Schenectady building for missing infant

Police search Schenectady building for missing infant

Police confirmed that "cadaver dogs" were on scene, and that the mother was being held for questioning.
Police search Schenectady building for missing infant
State police canine Officer Patrick Darling and his partner, Joco, prepare to search behind 766 State St. in Schenectady.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

SCHENECTADY -- A Schenectady mother sought by police has been found, but her 4-month-old son remains missing, according to police.

Police located Heaven Puleski near the Days Inn hotel downtown around midday Wednesday, relative Lisa Dutcher told The Daily Gazette, but the baby wasn't with her. 

Schenectady Police Sgt. Matthew Dearing confirmed later Wednesday afternoon that Puleski was being held at the police station and being questioned by police regarding the missing child.

Thursday update: Schenectady mother remains with police as search for infant continues

City and state police were seen searching yards behind 766 State St. with K-9 units at around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday. The building, which is near Vale Cemetery, is under the name Gerard Apartments.

Schenectady police also confirmed that some of the state police K-9 units on scene were "cadaver dogs" while others were focused on locating drugs and weapons.

Shortly after police arrived, Dutcher, Puleski's aunt, came running to the scene yelling "Did they find him? Did they find him?"

Dutcher reiterated that her biggest concern is that Puleski had "sold the baby," and said that Puleski has struggled with addictions to heroin and crack cocaine recently. 

In October of 2016, Puleski was arrested for escaping police custody in Gloversville on drug charges.

Puleski subsequently served 10 months in county jail and had another child taken by child protective services around the time of the incarceration. That child, according to Dutcher, was adopted in 2017.

The State Street building is where Puleski had been living recently, according to police and Dutcher. Dutcher said Puleski was sharing a room with a man at the time and was given misleading photos of her potential room before moving in.

Dutcher said Puleski had been "chronically homeless" since 2013, when she was evicted from her apartment in Yates Village.

Scrolling through her text-message conversations with Puleski, Dutcher indicated that shortly after her niece shared the photos of the apartment and moved in, contact was lost, and Dutcher had not heard back from Puleski via phone since July 11. 

The night before Puleski was found by police, according to Dutcher, the mother had left the State Street apartment to sleep in Vale Cemetery.

Asked about the report that Heaven Puleski had been located, but not the baby, police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Dearing said he could not confirm the reports.

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