PULASKI, Va. —
The body of an infant found in Pulaski County has been identified as that of a missing 5-month-old boy, police said Monday.
Searchers found Cory Samuel Cole’s body on Thursday night in a wooded area in Draper. The child’s father, 31-year-old Howard Samuel Cole of Pulaski, had been arrested on a child-abuse charge Thursday morning.
Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche told The Roanoke Times that the investigation began when relatives came to the police station Tuesday afternoon and told police that Howard Cole and his son were missing.
From the relatives’ report, “we learned of a situation involving a probable cause for a child abuse charge that occurred the prior Sunday (Jan. 26),” Roche told the newspaper.
Roche declined to give any details of the accusations against Howard Cole, saying those eventually will be presented in court.
Police had said last week that the elder Cole was seen with his son in Pulaski about 7 p.m. Monday, and then was seen without the boy in Dublin about 5 a.m. Wednesday. Officers searched Cole’s home Wednesday night and Thursday morning. They began searching for the infant after county sheriff’s personnel found Cole in Fairlawn on Thursday morning.
Roche said the medical examiner confirmed the identity of the infant’s body. But police have not yet been told the cause of death. Roche plans to consult with prosecutors when police receive that information.
Howard Cole remains in custody at the New River Valley Regional Jail.