Police haven’t commented yet on how 3-year-old Brendan Link Creato died. What is certain is that when he vanished, he had been staying at his father’s home in the Haddon Township in New Jersey, about 8 miles east of Philadelphia. One resident of the town, Bernadette Ferraro, told the Courier Post “They are looking at his father, but a stranger did this.”
On January 11, Creato was indicted on murder charges in relation to his son’s death.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Creato Made the 911 Call Saying that His Son Was Missing
According to the Courier Post, Creato called 911 at around 6:30 a.m. on October 13. He told the dispatcher “I don’t know if he wandered out or what happened. I don’t know where he is. The door was locked. I guess he unlocked it and left.” The paper adds that Creato gave his address as 101 Cooper Street, though a vigil held for Brendan Creato (above), was held at 103 Cooper Street. At that vigil, Creato was defended by family friends, reports the Courier Post.
The search for Brendan Creato lasted around 3 hours when his dead body was recovered about a mile and a half from his father’s home, reports ABC Philadelphia. The station says that Creato and the boy’s mother, Samantha Denoto, lived separately. Bernadette Ferrara told ABC “Police won’t let him talk to his parents. He’s been there and he says he doesn’t need a lawyer because he didn’t do this. We know he didn’t do it, he loved his baby.”
2. Officials Still Cannot Confirm the Cause of Death for Brendan Creato
A spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Andy McNeil, told the media on the afternoon of October 14 that an autopsy had not revealed the cause of Brendan Creato’s death. The boy’s mother, Samantha, released a statement saying “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. We thank the community, which searched this morning for Brendan and gathered tonight in his memory. We appreciate your efforts and kind words,” Denoto said Tuesday. “We do not have any answers about what occurred.”
3. One Friend Said That Brendan Was the ‘Most Important Thing’ in Brendan’s Life
ABC Philadelphia reports that Creato’s life had been beset by personal problems but that his son was the “most important thing” in his life. A friend, Donna Duca, told the station “No matter what happened in their family life – with the relationship with his wife, his work issues – when he saw Brendan, all that fell away and all he knew was this was the most important thing in his life.” A Facebook posting from July 2014 showed that Creato had moved to Chico, California, north of Sacramento. It’s not clear if he really moved, but photos from his page appear to show him in California at the time.
4. He Works in the Family Business, Creato Home Improvements
According to his Facebook page, Creato works at Creato Home Improvements, a window installation company. That company is associated with Dream HOuse Windows out of West Berlin, New Jersey, a company that controversially shuttered its doors in July 2014, leaving many customers “ripped off,” reports NBC Philadelphia. That company was headed by Firas Emachah.
5. Creato Heavily Documented His Son’s Childhood on His Facebook Page
The 3-year-old Brendan Creato’s short live was heavily detailed on his father’s Facebook page, right from sonogram to Halloween and Christmas time.