Prosecutor: Dad killed boy, 3, to continue romantic relationship with teenage girlfriend

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Prosecutors say the father of a 3-year-old boy found dead in a New Jersey park last year killed the child because he had become an impediment to his relationship with a teenage girlfriend.

They also say young Brendan Creato had suffered "homicidal violence" akin to smothering or strangulation.

Brendan's 22-year-old father, David Creato Jr., was arraigned Tuesday on murder and child endangerment charges. His bail was set at $750,000.

Prosecutors say Creato's girlfriend resented his dealings with the boy's mother, with whom he shared custody.

Brendan's body was found Oct. 13 in Cooper River Park about three hours after his father reported him missing from his Haddon Township home.

Creato's attorney, Richard Fuschino Jr., says that the prosecution's case is "weak" and that he will "vigorously" defend his client.