A New Jersey man charged with the murder of his 3-year-old son committed the act because he believed his girlfriend resented the child and viewed him as an obstacle in their relationship, according to prosecutors.
David "D.J." Creato, 22, of Haddon Township, New Jersey, reportedly began dating Julie Spensky, 17, in June 2015 after the two began talking through a mobile dating application, NJ.com reports. Creato's son, Brendan, was from a previous marriage. Creato reportedly told Spensky about his son on their second date.
Creato took care of his son on weekends, while the child's mother, Samantha Denoto, had custody of Brendan during the week, according to NJ.com.
After Spensky started at a New York for college in September, she expressed displeasure about the fact that Creato had to take care of his son over the weekend, as that was also when she was off from class.
She reportedly wrote about how unhappy she was with the situation in a series of online postings. Prosecutor Christine Shah said of the postings that "some of it is unbelievable."
"She repeatedly threatened to break up with the defendant, and he repeatedly begged her not to," Shah added.
WPVI reports that beyond this, Creato exacerbated the situation when he posed as Spensky on social media to angrily write to a boy at her college. Creato was apparently jealous of the boy.
Brendan disappeared from Creato's home on Oct. 13 and his body was later discovered submerged in a river at a nearby park.
Investigators are still determining the cause of death, but Brendan's brain reportedly showed a lack of oxygen before death, indicating drowning, asphyxiation or smothering.
Creato was arrested on Jan. 11 after a grand jury indicted him on counts of murder and child endangerment, according to NJ.com. His bail has been set at $750,000, and WPVI reports he is compelled to remain in New Jersey if he posts bail.