Body of missing 7-month-old found in East Haddam - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Body of missing 7-month-old found in East Haddam

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Search continues in Connecticut River for the body of a 7-month-old boy (WFSB/State Police) Search continues in Connecticut River for the body of a 7-month-old boy (WFSB/State Police)
MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -

Middletown police confirmed on Tuesday evening that the body of the 7-month-old boy has been recovered from the Connecticut River in East Haddam.

The Middletown mayor closed the Connecticut River to "civilian traffic" as the recovery effort for a 7-month-old boy continued on Tuesday.

Officials confirmed the baby's body was found in the water by the swing bridge in East Haddam sometime before 8 p.m. Tuesday. 

The area near Route 149 was blocked off while officials continued their investigation.

State and local police along with federal agencies and three fire departments continued an exhaustive search for Aaden Moreno on Tuesday. It has not been easy for authorities.

"What you see on the surface, as far as a current, may not be what's going on underneath. The current below the water could be a lot stronger than what's on the surface," Middletown Fire Chief Robert Kronenberger said. "So, there comes a point where if it's not safe for the diver, we'll pull any diver because we never want to become part of the problem."

Caution tape remained up after police arrived at the bridge around 11:45 p.m. on Sunday after receiving a 911 call. One of the responding officers said he saw 22-year-old Tony Moreno jump from the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown.

Police believe the baby boy entered the waters moments before the jump.

Authorities set up a command center at Harbor Park to coordinate rescue efforts. 

"I have heard so many expressions of support for the family and the wishes of so many members of the community to band together to help find Aaden. I can't stress enough, that while those sentiments are wonderful and appreciated, the police and fire departments need to be able to conduct their searches unimpeded by volunteers, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew posted on his official Facebook page

Last month, 19-year-old Adrianne Oyola, applied for a restraining order because she feared for the safety of her and her son’s life. Detailing past abuse and anger issues, Oyola wrote "I am afraid he is going to do something to my son. He is angry and probably isn't thinking straight." 

In the application, Oyola also said "I fear for my child's safety, he could hurt my child,"

She said Moreno would push, poke, shove and threaten her, saying "if you want me to show you 'hitting' I'll show you."

Also, around that same time, she said Moreno took baby Aaden without her knowledge.

In the application, Oyola said "He (Moreno) has told me he could make my son disappear any time of the day. He told me how he could make me disappear."

Ultimately, the restraining order was denied just days before this tragedy. To read the full documents, click here.

Some restraining order applications are granted on a temporary basis. After one is granted, a judge will make a decision within 14 days as to whether to extend the order. Judges must determine if a family or household member has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or injury, stalking, or threatening.

For the full transcript from the restraining order hearing, click here.

This one was filed on June 17 and on June 29 Judge Barry Pinkus denied the application. Eyewitness News obtained a transcript of the hearing, where Judge Pinkus told the court, “I’m just not convinced that there’s a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury. I’m not going to grant the restraining order.”

The ruling confused domestic violence advocates.

"We know what risk factors exist for fatal family violence and some of those risk factors were in fact enumerated by the victim," said Liza Andrews of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. "I can't speak to exactly why this order was denied. Judges have decisions to make and each case is different."

Eyewitness News dug deeper into the judge's record. Since July 7 of 2014, records show he has granted 13 restraining orders, while denying 16.

In addition to the river search, investigators searched Tony Moreno’s home on Schuyler Avenue.

"It is expected that charges will be forthcoming once the investigation is complete," said. Lt. Heather Desmond.

Meanwhile, family and friends said they’re reeling from the news.

“[We’re feeling] total despair,” said Tom Marino, Aaden’s great uncle. “It's sad to lose Tony but it's even sadder to lose the baby that way."

Tony Moreno was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Police said he is conscious and alert.

Oyola, Aadren’s mother, just graduated from Middletown High School in June. Counselors were made available to speak with grieving students.  

A vigil will be held on Wednesday sponsored by the town and will be held on the South Green.             

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