Dad pleads guilty in death of 3-year-old son found dead in woods in 2015

Thursday, August 24, 2017 10:30AM
David Creato Jr. pleads guilty in death of his 3-year-old son, Brendan Creato. Jeff Chirico reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on August 23, 2017.


CAMDEN, N.J. - David Creato Jr. of New Jersey has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of his young son back in 2015.

According to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, Creato pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of first-degree aggravated manslaughter.



"Creato stated under oath that he recklessly caused his son's death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life by depriving Brendan of oxygen on October 13, 2015," the prosecutor said in a statement.

In exchange for pleading guilty, Creato will serve 10 years behind bars. He will be required to serve at least eight years and six months of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Brendan's mother, Samantha Denoto, and other family members who attended the lengthy trial, were present in court for the plea.

David Creato will be sentenced on September 29.



His previous murder trial ended with a hung jury in late May, and a new trial had been set to begin on September 11.

The guilty plea means David Creato will not have to sit through another trial.

Creato pleads guilty


David Creato was charged with killing 3-year-old Brendan in Haddon Township in October of 2015.

Brendan's pajama-clad body was found in a wooded area near Creato's Haddon Township home.

Brendan Creato


David Creato always maintained the child wandered away, but prosecutors disputed that claim.

During the trial, they pointed out Brendan's socks were clean, which they said would be impossible if he had wandered away from home and into the woods.

Prosecutors had maintained David Creato killed his son because he feared his 17-year-old girlfriend, who was away at college, was going to leave him. She had made it clear she didn't want to be around his child and wanted him to give up custody.

The couple has since broken up.

LISTEN: 911 call in Brendan Creato case


The case against David Creato was always considered circumstantial.

There were no witnesses, DNA or surveillance video to connect him to the death.
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