A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of his three-year-old son, who he says was in the way of a relationship with his girlfriend.
David Creato Jr, 23, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and admitted he had “recklessly caused his son’s death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life by depriving Brendan of oxygen”.
In October 2015, Mr Creato called 911 stating his son had wandered away from his home in Haddon Township in Camden County.
The child’s body was discovered later that day in an area of woodland around a mile from his home.
A medical examiner stated the boy died from “homicidal violence” but was not able to determine the exact cause or time of death.
A murder trial ended in a mistrial in May, but prosecutors said the victim’s socks were clean – which undermined Mr Creato’s claims the boy walked away from home.
Mr Creato’s guilty plea comes just weeks before he was due to stand trial on murder charges.
He will be sentenced on 29 September and prosecutors will recommend he serves a 10-year prison sentence.