The father of a 3-year-old boy found dead in a New Jersey park last year has pleaded not guilty to murder and child endangerment charges.
David Creato Jr. entered his pleas during a brief court hearing on Monday.
Camden County prosecutors claim Creato killed his son, Brendan, because the child had become an impediment to his relationship with a teenage girlfriend. They also say the girlfriend resented Creato’s dealings with the boy’s mother, with whom he shared custody.
The 22-year-old Haddon Township man was arrested last month. He remains jailed on $750,000 bail.
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. Prosecutors have said the boy suffered “homicidal violence” akin to smothering or strangulation.