Father Charged in Death of Haddon Twp. Toddler

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David ‘DJ’ Creato, Jr. was arrested Monday in connection with the death of his three-year-old son, Brendan Link Creato. Authorities said he will be arraigned tomorrow.

By Matt Skoufalos

Brendan Creato Vigil in Haddon Twp. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

Brendan Creato Vigil in Haddon Twp. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

After a nearly four-month investigation, authorities have implicated 22-year-old Haddon Township resident David “DJ” Creato, Jr. in the death of his son, 3-year-old Brendan Link Creato.

Creato, Jr. was arrested in Washington Township Monday afternoon on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. He is being held in the Camden County Jail.

The indictment reads that Creato, Jr. “did purposely or knowingly cause the death or serious bodily injury resulting in the death of” his son; and furthermore, “having a legal duty for the care” of the toddler, “did knowingly cause harm to said child that would make the child an abused or neglected child.”

The Denoto family, Creato’s maternal relatives, issued a brief statement Monday evening.

“This is a very difficult time for our family,” it read. “We do not intend to make any statements regarding today’s news. We continue to request that we be provided with privacy during this very difficult time.”

Creato’s body was discovered by K-9 units after an early-morning search of his Haddon Township neighborhood on October 13, 2015. Creato, Jr. had reported his son missing around 6 a.m., and emergency units from several communities plus some local searchers had combed the surrounding neighborhood for some three hours.

Later that evening, a group of residents held a candlelight vigil for the child outside the apartment from which he had been reported missing.

The neighborhood responded in the weeks that followed with blue remembrance ribbons. Some have maintained a small, landscaped memorial to the child on the edge of the wooded glade where his body was recovered. Early autopsy results were inconclusive in determining the cause of Creato’s death, but ruled out poisoning or sexual assault. 

Creato, Jr. is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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