New Jersey

How Did Brendan Die? Nearly a Week & No Answers as Family Prepares to Lay 3-Year-Old to Rest

Nearly a week after a 3-year-old boy's body was found dumped in a wooded area near the Cooper River, his family worked out funeral plans as investigators searched for answers to calm a neighborhood on edge.

Brendan Creato's family will hold a private funeral for the Haddon Township boy on Thursday, a funeral home confirmed Monday.

As the family finalized funeral plans, investigators sorted through clues in Brendan's death as they awaited toxicology results after an autopsy couldn't determine a cause of death for the 3-year-old that was found in a wooded area near the Cooper River Tuesday -- about three hours after his father reported him missing.

The autopsy on Brendan's body was inconclusive and X-rays revealed no broken bones.

Sources close to the investigation told NBC10 Brendan didn't walk into the woods alone and his body was "definitely placed there."

"We're just nervous and we'd like to know some answers," said Haddon Township's Lori Bonrisco. "Halloween's coming and we're debated whether to even let the kids go trick-or-treating."

Investigators tested water levels and temperatures in Cooper River over the weekend as they tried to figure out what killed Brendan. A search of the area revealed no new clues, said investigators.

Brendan's dad reported the tot missing around 6 a.m. Tuesday from a small apartment building in Haddon Township, said prosecutor's office spokesman Andy McNeil.

The road from Brendan's home to the park runs through a suburban neighborhood with big lots and large homes. The park itself is full of dangers, including stairs to a small concrete landing that drops off into a branch of the Cooper River.

NBC10 has yet to speak with Brendan's parents. We spoke to Brendan's grandfather, DJ Creato, off-camera however.

"We don't know anything yet," he said. "We're a very close-knit family. The mother and the baby's father, my son, are still friends." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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