SCHENECTADY -- The condition of remains found Thursday in the search for 4-month-old Rayen Puleski is delaying identification of the body and any determination of what caused the infant's death, police said on Monday.
Police found the remains Thursday evening behind 766 State St., an apartment building where Rayen's mother, Heaven Puleski, had been living, authorities have said. But police have yet to say the remains are those of Rayen, and such a determination is not likely to happen for some time, city police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Dearing said.
"Right now, where we stand, due to the condition that the remains were found in, the autopsy and identification process is going to take an extended period of time," Dearing said. "It's going to be a little bit of time before we're going to be able to positively identify or even get potential cause of death from the autopsy or anything along those lines."
Dearing said police are looking at other missing infant cases, but there are no other such cases in Schenectady. He would not estimate how long the body had been buried. He only said he hoped the autopsy would answer that and other questions.
Police began investigating Rayen's disappearance on Aug. 7, after they were contacted by Child Protective Services, police have said. Dearing said Monday he did not have information about how long CPS had been involved prior to notifying police that they were looking for the mother and child.
Police found Heaven Puleski Wednesday near the Days Inn on Nott Terrace, but the infant wasn't with her.
"There's been a team of detectives assigned to this investigation that have been working since the inception of it on Tuesday," Dearing said. Both city police and state police are working the case.
Asked where Heaven Puleski was, as of Monday, Dearing said only that, "officers and detectives are aware of where she is."
Dearing said Monday that detectives had been in contact with Puleski's family. That appeared to be at odds with family members' comments to The Daily Gazette just prior to the press conference.
Lisa Dutcher, the aunt of the mother involved, took questions outside the station.— Jake Lahut (@JakeLahut) August 13, 2018
She said she has been in touch with the governor’s office but did not know who her state Assembly or Aenate representatives are.
Dearing will only say the condition of the body requires “an extended period of time” to get an ID.— Jake Lahut (@JakeLahut) August 13, 2018
He also confirmed that city police had been in contact with the family today, which, several families downstairs told me, is in dispute.
— Jake Lahut (@JakeLahut) August 13, 2018
Update: Schenectady Police say that, due to the condition of the body found behind 766 State Street, the autopsy will be prolonged, and there is still no ID. Dearing said other missing infant cases are being looked at, but SPD didn’t have any of their own active beforehand. pic.twitter.com/kp5Pfql24j— Jake Lahut (@JakeLahut) August 13, 2018
Facebook Live video from Gazette news gathering partner CBS6:
Sgt. Dearing getting ready to start here with new details on the missing infant case. pic.twitter.com/Uaw3Kg8a2g— Jake Lahut (@JakeLahut) August 13, 2018
There will be a 1pm news briefing today (08/13/18) in regards to Puleski case at SPD headquarters.— Schenectady Police (@schdypolice) August 13, 2018
A memorial has since sprung up outside the apartment building where the body was found.
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