An American father reportedly murdered his three-year-old son because his teenage girlfriend didn’t like kids and was threatening to leave him.
The Independent report that David Creato, 22, was charged with murder and endangering the welfare of a child on Tuesday following the discovery of his son Brendan’s body in Cooper River Park, New Jersey on October 13th last year.
Creato had reported his son missing, claiming he’d woken up to find the boy gone from his home in Haddon Township.
6ABC report that the dad told police:
I just woke up and he wasn’t in my apartment… I don’t know if he wandered out or what happened. I don’t know where he is… The door was locked. I guess he unlocked it and left.
He also told officers that the boy was wearing only his pyjamas, neon socks and Mickey Mouse slippers when he vanished.
After a frantic search the police found Brendan’s body in the park, partially submerged in Cooper River.
Prosecutors claim that the poor young boy was the victim of ‘homicidal violence’ and they believe that he was most likely killed by being ‘smothered, strangled or drowned’.
There was evidence of bruising near his collarbone and his brain showed signs of oxygen deprivation before his death, according to NJ.com.
Creato was arrested on Monday with bail set at $750,000 (£522,480) as he is considered a potential flight risk.
Prosecutor Christine Shah has conceded that the case against Creato is largely circumstantial, saying it’s based on there being no signs of forced entry at the property, as well as the ‘intense’ relationship Creato had with his 17-year-old girlfriend Julia Spensk.
Miss Spensk, prosecutors claim, resented Brendan getting in between her and Creato and she had a serious dislike of children.
DJ Creato allegedly told detectives he was "jealous and paranoid" his teen girlfriend was going to leave him.
— Chad Pradelli (@chadpradelli) January 12, 2016
It’s claimed that she told Creato that his son’s visits every other weekend got in the way of their relationship and told him she would break up with him unless he stopped seeing both Brendan and the boy’s mother.
A GoFundMe page for Brendan has raised $19,407 towards his funeral costs.