A father who police said admitted throwing his 7-month-old son into the Connecticut River before jumping in himself during a failed suicide attempt was charged with murder on Wednesday.
Tony Moreno, 21, of Middletown, Connecticut, was arraigned by a judge who conducted the court proceeding at Hartford Hospital, where Moreno was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation after he was pulled from the river. He is being held on $2 million bail.
Moreno’s family called police before midnight on Sunday to report that Moreno was threatening to commit suicide and that he had his baby son Aaden Moreno with him, police said.
Two officers arrived in time to see the father jump off the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown, a 120-foot-tall bridge over the river, but did not see the infant. An empty baby stroller was located in the immediate vicinity, Middletown Police Lieutenant Heather Desmond said.
Later, after Moreno was pulled from the water by firefighters, “he confirmed he threw Aaden over the railing prior to the officer’s arrival on the bridge,” Desmond said.
The infant’s body was found in the river near East Haddam, Connecticut, at around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, police said. Police originally said the body had been found at around 8 p.m.
Moreno was arraigned on charges of murder and murder with special circumstances, meaning a victim under the age of 16, according to Desmond.
At the arraignment, a judge also set a $100,000 bond for Moreno on charges that on June 25 he violated a temporary restraining order secured by the child’s mother, Adrianne Oyola.
Court records show that Moreno had recently been accused of threatening Oyola and their son. In her application for the restraining order, which was granted on June 17, Oyola said Moreno had struck her and told her “how he could kill me” and make the baby “disappear.”
On June 29, Superior Court Judge Barry Binkus ruled against continuing the restraining order, saying he was not convinced that Moreno represented an imminent threat, according to court records.
(Reporting by Richard Weizel; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Eric Beech)
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