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The Times
  • Police: Infant’s body found in Mohawk River in North Utica

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  • The remains of an infant were found by state police divers Friday morning in the Mohawk River in North Utica, city police Chief Mark Williams said at an afternoon press conference at the police station.
    The body, which was found in a container, now will be tested by the Onondoga County Medical Examiner’s Office to see if it is 9-month-old Levon Wameling, who has been missing since mid-June.
    It’s unclear how long those tests will take.
    Levon’s mother posted on her Facebook page that she believes this is her son.
    “Well everyone my son Levon was found in the water. I can do this,” Warney’s post read shortly before 1 p.m.
    On Thursday, Levon’s father, Jevon Wameling, was charged with second-degree burglary by New York State Police and remained locked in Oneida County jail on $10,000 cash bail or $25,000 bond.
    Wameling, 27, of 748 Jay St., Utica, allegedly unlawfully entered a family member’s home in Oriskany in August and stole money and jewelry on at least one occasion, police said.
    The incident is still under investigation and additional charges might be filed, police said.
    Wameling first reported his son’s disappearance to Utica police on June 11 — about two weeks after 9-month-old Levon allegedly vanished May 29 after being left briefly unattended on the front porch of Wameling’s apartment in East Utica.
    Since then, police have conducted several searches across the area, but no answers ever surfaced to explain what happened to Levon or whether the baby was still alive.
    But just days after Levon’s 1-year birthday was celebrated Saturday with a balloon release and picnic, a woman involved in the event told the Observer-Dispatch she had just received a phone call from the boy’s mother, Amy Warney.
    During the 5-minute conversation with Warney Thursday night, Anna Knopka, of Frankfort, said that Levon’s mother shared with her a possible new development in the boy’s case.
    “She told me that Jevon confessed to police, that the baby died in his sleep and he buried him somewhere,” Knopka said.
    When Knopka asked if Wameling had said where Levon was buried, Warney said that she didn’t know.
    The conversation then turned to the weekend celebration at which Knopka had sold T-shirts and balloons. When Knopka said she had checks written for the $245 raised at the party that were going to be sent to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, that’s when the conversation quickly ended.
    Knopka owns I-KAN-C-U-Images screen printing and vinyl cutting in Frankfort.
    Because Knopka had only met Warney after she contacted Knopka less than two weeks ago to help with the party, Knopka said she doesn’t understand why Warney felt the need to immediately tell her about Wameling’s alleged confession.
    Page 2 of 2 - By the next morning, Utica police had resumed their search for Levon in North Utica.
    Utica police officials would not comment on Knopka’s conversation or what Warney allegedly told her about Wameling.
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