Father of Baby Found Dead in River Charged With Murder - NBC Connecticut

Father of Baby Found Dead in River Charged With Murder

Father Charged With Murder of Baby Son

(Published Wednesday, July 8, 2015)

The father of a 7-month-old baby boy found dead in the Connecticut River on Tuesday night has been charged with the murder of his son.

Police said Tony Moreno, 21, of Middletown, threw his son off the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown late Sunday night before attempting to commit suicide by plunging off the bridge.

Moreno admitted to throwing the boy over the railing and has been charged with murder and murder with special circumstances, according to police.

Police responded to the bridge after receiving a 911 call at 11:45 p.m. on Sunday from Moreno's mother. She said her son was threatening suicide and a baby was heard cooing and crying in the background.

"(C)ome down to the Portland bridge and get my phone and the stroller so you have pictures of the baby," he said, according to court paperwork. "Sorry, just tell everyone I'm sorry."

Officers rushed to the scene and arrived just before Moreno jumped into the river. Police said Moreno was not holding the baby when he jumped, but officers noticed an empty stroller nearby. 

Moreno did not respond to questions regarding his son's whereabouts was after Middletown firefighters pulled him from the water. With no one to confirm baby was also in the water, police issued a Silver Alert for Aaden.

Police said Moreno later admitted to throwing his son over the railing before officers arrived.

A person in a canoe found Aaden's body in the Connecticut River in East Haddam on Tuesday night. Authorities had searched nearly 48 hours for the boy, who was presumed dead Monday morning.

"Our community suffered an indescribable tragedy this week," Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew said during a news conference Wednesday, "one that we'll never really be able to make sense of."

Moreno was arraigned Wednesday morning at Hartford Hospital and is being held on $2 million bond. Police said a public defender is representing him.

Moreno was also charged with two counts of violating a restraining order on June 25. According to court paperwork, the restraining order expired on June 29. A judge denied the mother's request to renew it.

Aaden's mother applied for the restraining order because she feared for her baby's safety, according to court documents. She wrote in a statement that Moreno told her he could make her or her child "disappear" at any time.

Six days later, Moreno jumped off the bridge.

Moreno is in the custody of the state Department of Correction and will continue to receive medical care.

A vigil for Aaden was set for 6 p.m. Wednesday on the south green in Middletown.

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