New Jersey boy, 3, reported missing is found dead near home

Police and other officials gather near a small brick apartment building where authorities say a 3-year-old boy was reported missing and then found dead three hours later in woods several blocks from his homeTuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Haddon Township, N.J. The Camden County prosecutor's office says a family member of the boy reported him missing from his home at about 6 a.m. Tuesday. His body was found at around 9 a.m. by a police dog. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

HADDON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A 3-year-old boy who was reported missing Tuesday was found dead three hours later in woods about a half-mile from his home, authorities said.

A family member reported Brendan Link Creato missing at 6 a.m. from a small apartment building in Haddon Township, said Andy McNeil, spokesman with the Camden County prosecutor’s office. His body was found at around 9 a.m. by a police dog in Cooper River Park.

The cause of death remains under investigation, and further details have not been disclosed. Authorities are awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Karri Anthony, a friend of the boy’s mother’s family, said Brandon had been staying at his father’s home at the time. His mother lives elsewhere, she said.

The road from Brandon’s home to the park runs through a suburban neighborhood with big lots and large homes.

The park itself is full of dangers, including stairs leading to a small concrete landing that drops off into the water of a branch of the Cooper River. By midday, the park was no longer considered a crime scene, though the area around the boy’s home was still cordoned off.

After Brandon was reported missing, police notified nearby residents using a reverse 911 call that described him as wearing pajamas.

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