Authorities have not commented on the cause or manner of the boy's death
Credit: Facebook

A 3-year-old boy who was reported missing on early Tuesday morning in Haddon Township, New Jersey, has been found dead.

Brendan Creato was reported missing at 6 a.m. by a family member. His body was found just three hours later in the woods in nearby Cooper River Park by a police dog, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities have not commented on the cause or manner of the boy’s death, but the investigation is ongoing, according to WPVI

On Tuesday evening, Brendan’s mother, Samantha Denoto, released a statement asking for privacy in this difficult time.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful boy Brendan Creato,” she said. “Along with the Creato family, who also lost a son and grandson, we are grieving and tremendously saddened.

She added: “We thank the community, which searched this morning for Brendan and gathered tonight in his memory. We appreciate your efforts and kind words.”

Hundreds of family members and friends gathered for a vigil in Brendan’s memory on Tuesday night, NJ1015 reports. They carried candles and signs remembering the boy as they said a prayer in his honor.

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