HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH/AP) — A Middletown man who police say threw his seven-month-old son off a bridge, then jumped, has been charged with murder a day after the child’s body was pulled from the water.
Officials say Tony Moreno was arraigned at Hartford Hospital Wednesday morning, where he’d been since firefighters rescued him from the Connecticut River on Sunday night.
To see a full transcript from the arraignment, click here.
The Schuyler Avenue man is charged with murder and murder with special circumstances. He is being held on $2 million bond and has been turned over to the Department of Correction.
According to police, a person in a canoe found the body of Aaden Moreno around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday about a quarter-mile north of a swing bridge in East Haddam, south of the bridge where investigators say his father jumped. They say the clothing on the body matched what Aaden was last seen wearing, and family members positively identified him.
Dive teams and helicopters had been searching for the infant since Sunday when police received a 911 call that his father was on the Arrigoni Bridge and making statements that he was going to jump. Police say the 21-year-old jumped when police arrived, but was not holding the baby. They say an empty stroller was found nearby, and Moreno later admitted throwing the child in the river before officers arrived.
Aaden’s mother had a temporary restraining order against the father and had recently applied for a permanent order because she feared for her and her son’s safety; however, a judge denied that order.
Now, Chief Court Administrator Patrick L. Carroll III. has issued a statement:
The tragedy that occurred this past weekend has affected all of us, and on behalf of the Judicial Branch, I would like to extend our condolences to the family of Aaden Moreno. While it would be inappropriate for me to comment directly on Judge Pinkus’ ruling, I believe that it is representative of the difficult decisions that judges must make each and every day. These discretionary decisions are made after an assessment of the evidence that is presented and in accordance with applicable state law. Yet even with a deliberative process, it is impossible for judges to predict the future with certainty.
In addition to the murder charges, Moreno was arrested on a second warrant for an incident that took place on June 25. According to authorities, there was no violence in that incident, but he made contact with the child’s mother, violating the temporary restraining order. He’s charged with two counts of violation of a restraining order with a $100,000 cash bond.