Death of 3-year-old Brendan Creato caused by father David Creato: Case examined on Text K to Kill

Mugshot of David Creato
David Creato pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his son. Pic credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

Text K to Kill on ID is investigating the death of toddler Brendan Creato, who was found dead in mysterious circumstances near his home in Haddon Township, New Jersey.

The boy’s father, David “DJ” Creato, was initially charged with the 3-year-old’s first-degree murder but was eventually convicted on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

On the morning of October 13, 2015, Creato contacted the police and told them his son was missing. He claimed the toddler had somehow wandered out of the apartment during the night.

Brendan’s body was discovered in a wooded area about a mile from the home. The child was lying face down over a rock, and his pajamas and diaper were pulled down over his legs.

The cops noted Creato’s calm demeanor during the search. The detectives also realized that Brendan’s socks appeared clean, which would have been impossible if he’d walked there himself.

No less than three autopsies were performed on Brendan’s remains, but none of the pathologists could tell how or why Brendan died.

Police said David Creato killed his young son so his girlfriend wouldn’t leave him

The police learned that Creato’s then-17-year-old girlfriend had told him that she didn’t want to be around his young son, and she wanted him to give up custody of Brendan. Creato had reportedly said to her that his son would always be in his life but was allegedly concerned that his girlfriend would leave him over the issue.

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The investigators concluded that Creato had killed his son to prevent his girlfriend from leaving him. He was charged with murder.

A lack of physical evidence, DNA evidence, and witnesses hampered the prosecution’s case. The lengthy trial ended in a deadlocked jury and a mistrial.

There were subsequently allegations that the police botched the investigation and that the crime scene was contaminated because the first responders hadn’t realized they were dealing with a homicide.

A short time before a second trial was due to begin, Creato agreed to a plea bargain where he confessed to aggravated manslaughter.

The carefully worded plea stated that Creato “recklessly caused his son’s death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life by depriving Brendan of oxygen.”

David Creato sentenced to 10 years for causing the death of Brendan Creato

Creato was sentenced to ten years in prison with the possibility of parole after eight. His girlfriend did not face any charges, and the couple have since split up.

At the sentencing, prosecutor Christine Shah said, “[Creato] lied to the police; he lied to his parents. Worst of all, he lied to Brendan’s mother, who certainly had a right to know exactly what happened to their son.”

Creato’s family has continued to maintain his innocence. His father, David Creato Sr, claimed, “The wrong person is sitting in jail.”

Text K to Kill airs Saturday at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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