A NEW York city cop who left his autistic son to freeze to death in a garage acted like his family were The Brady Bunch, a former babysitter claims.
Michael Valva, 40, is accused of killing eight-year-old Thomas, who was allegedly beaten and starved in years of torture by his dad and stepmom.
Valva, an NYPD officer of 15 years, had custody of his three sons and "brainwashed" them to hate his ex-wife, it is claimed.
Social workers were called several times to the Long Island home he shared with fellow cop fiancée Angelina Pollina, 42, and her three daughters.
Last month they were both charged with second degree murder after Thomas died from hypothermia in the unheated garage where he was forced to sleep in 20 F (-7 C) weather.
Prosecutors claim they treated the "undernourished" boy and his siblings in a "cruel, callous, wanton and evil" manner.
Amanda Wildman, who babysat the kids from 2017 to 2018, said she witnessed verbal and physical abuse of Thomas and his siblings.
But she says the parents to project an image of a wholesome happy family like in 70s sitcom The Brady Bunch.
She told People magazine: “I felt like they wanted to be this large, perfect family and it was like they wanted the big house, the big family, the happy life. But Angela didn’t want nothing to do with those boys.”
Amanda also claims it was Angela who led the verbal abuse, and punished the younger children severely for little things like not finishing a meal.
And she warned people not to trust the transit cop, who has claimed her husband was the main abuser.
Amanda says in a Dr Oz interview to be shown today: "When I was there it was almost the opposite.
"And you know it's funny because she's trying to portray herself as like this victim of Mike.
"Meanwhile, she was the runner of it all. Like anything she said to do, Mike followed in her footsteps."
Amanda also said she saw physical injuries including a bite mark on Thomas, and that the boys were brainwashed to hate their mother Justyna Zubko-Valva.
She said: "I witnessed Thomas telling me a story saying that Justyna’s grandfather had bitten him.
"I’d seen the bite mark and now that I look back, you see it. You could hear Mike in the car chanting, 'We love daddy', 'We love Angela'. You know, 'We hate mommy'."
"So it's like whatever was beaten into their head was beaten so bad that they were telling me graphic stories.
"And I met Justyna. She's a wonderful lady. I wish we could have connected before all of this happened. I wish somehow I knew she was fighting."
The couple allegedly forced Thomas and one of his brothers, who is also autistic, to sleep in the garage without a mattress, pillow or blanket after they wet the bed.
Teachers reported the brothers often arrived at school soaked in urine, and neighbours said Thomas was so starving he scavenged from trash cans.
There were 17 calls to a child abuse hotline in the months before he died, but most were not thoroughly investigated, reports the New York Post.
Valva called 911 on January 17 claiming his son had fallen in the driveway. He died in hospital after his body temperature plunged to 76 F (24 C).
A paramedic said the child had "road rash" abrasions on his face as though he had been dragged across a pavement, court papers claim.
Prosecutors claim Pollina found Valva trying to suffocate Thomas after hypothermia had taken hold of his body.
A recording allegedly reveals she told him: "Take your hands off his mouth. There are people everywhere."
And he is said to have taunted "boo f***ing hoo" as his son lay dying.
Later when told his son had died, Valva allegedly replied: "I've been through more stressful things".
Text messages read to a court last week show he called his son a "piece of s***" in a rant to his wife days before the alleged murder.
Biological mother Justyna Zubko-Valva described her son Tommy as a “loving, happy boy, always looking for adventure, loving playing outside.”
She said he “had such an amazing good heart. Everybody who knew him, they instantly fell in love with him. He was just a joy of everybody’s life.”
Suffolk County in Long Island said it is reviewing its handling of the case.
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