Ishmoile Mohammed III, 19, and Reynold Jennings, 23, both of 230
Midwood Rd., West Babylon, were each charged with first-degree
unlawfully dealing with a child, police said Friday.
Jennings "provided the vodka to Mohammed" that police said Garrett Quedens, 14, drank before a newspaper deliveryman found his body at 3:45 a.m. Thursday on Watson Avenue. Garrett's 14-year-old friend also drank the vodka, police said.
Further details were not immediately released.
Shortly before the arrests were announced Wednesday afternoon, the boy's aunt, Susan Quedens, of West Babylon, said Garrett was "a wonderful boy. He was never in trouble."
"It never should have happened to him," she said outside the home of the boys' parents.
Quedens said the family was "holding up as best as they can."
Two detectives went to the house shortly after 2:30 p.m.
Detectives are looking into whether Garrett had spent time at a teen hangout in nearby woods off the street.
Police asked that friends of the boy come forward to tell them about his New Year's Eve activities after he left home sometime after 8 p.m. on his bicycle.
"We're looking at the possibility," that the Babylon High School student had been in the woods, said Det. Sgt. Thomas Groneman, of the Suffolk County homicide squad.
Quedens lived just a few blocks away from the spot where he was found.
Neighbors said Friday that in recent years they've seen young people hanging out in the woods and, in cold weather, starting fires to keep warm.
Groneman described the hangout as "a little like a camp" where there was evidence of drug and alcohol use, but he said it was unclear when those activities took place.
Groneman said there was no evidence that Quedens had been at the hangout, and there was no evidence of drug or alcohol use on his body.
No trauma was found on the body, and no evidence of a hit-and-run accident, authorities said.
Firefighters who tried to revive Quedens said he was fully clothed, wearing a coat, but said they also thought the cold weather may have been a factor in his death.
Temperatures were in the teens, with winds that made it feel like zero degrees.
Friday morning, the place where Quedens was found was no longer marked with crime scene tape. At one corner of the Watson Avenue dead end, a break in the tall grass marked the beginning of a narrow trail.
About 20 yards down the trail, the hangout spot is on a knoll at the edge of a frozen-over swamp. The spot was ringed with slabs of broken concrete, possibly demolition debris. Above the spot was a blue tarp fastened to trees with wire and purple ribbon, and beneath the tarp, a charred, overturned piece of furniture.
Nearby were an orange recliner on its side, frozen in the pond, and a couple of tree houses.
A neighbor, Kenneth Cody, 53, said that between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. he heard the voices of young people in the woods, but he wasn't concerned about it.
Cody said he's seen young people in the woods infrequently, maybe half a dozen times.
Another neighbor, Brad Jones, 26, said he saw two boys in the hangout
who had started a fire a couple of months ago. He went into the woods
with a fire extinguisher and found that the boys had made a small
"I just busted their chops a little and put out the fire," Jones said. "They said they were trying to keep warm and I told them to go home and stay warm."
On New Year's Eve, Quedens left home on his bicycle at around 8:30 p.m., telling his parents that he would be with friends, police said. Normally his curfew is 11 p.m. but because it was New Year's Eve they told him to be back by midnight, police said.
When he didn't return on time the parents called his cell phone and got no response.
Then they called his friends, and drove around the neighborhood in separate cars looking for him, police said.
The parents searched almost every street but one: the block of Watson Avenue where a Newsday deliveryman, at 3:45 a.m., found the teenager lying on the side of the road.
"We waited 'til 12:30 before we panicked, because we figured, you know, it was New Year's Eve," Gizella Quedens, the teen's mother, said in an interview Thursday.
"But he was always home on time, so we started going out looking for him, and we even looked for him in places where I thought he crashed his bike, but he wasn't there."
Staff writers Mitchell Freedman and Sophia Chang contributed to this story.