A missing three-year-old boy has been found dead in woodland, half a mile from his father's home. Brendan Link Creato was reported missing at 6am on Tuesday (13 October) from his family's apartment in Haddon Township, New Jersey. The toddler was wearing his pyjamas, a pair of neon socks and Mickey Mouse slippers.
His desperate father filed a missing person's report, prompting a large scale police search. The boy's body was found three hours later by a police dog in Cooper River Park, Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Andy McNeil said.
Officers cordoned off the area as police gathered at the scene near the Cooper River. The cause of the little boy's death is under investigation and no further details have been released, however ABC Action News Philadelphia reports that investigators said they did not consider the boy's death to be suspicious.
His mother, Samantha Denoto, said in a statement: "We are heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful boy Brendan Creato. Along with the Creato family, who also lost a son and grandson, we are grieving and tremendously saddened."
Andy McNeil, spokesman for the Camden County prosecutor's office, would not confirm if there were any clear signs of injury to the child and said it was currently "a very ongoing and active investigation." "Sadly the boy was found deceased. We are waiting the results of the autopsy to be conducted to determine the cause and manner of death," he explained.
Camden County prosecutor and Haddon Township Police Chief confirmed that no arrests have been made. 100 people attended a vigil in Brendan's memory.