Police have ended their initial search for the body of a 7-month-old who may have plunged into the Connecticut River when his suicidal father jumped off the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown late Sunday night.
Police said the baby’s father, Tony Moreno, 22, of Middletown, called someone threatening suicide before jumping into the river around 11:45 p.m. Sunday. That person dialed 911 and told officers Moreno’s baby boy, Aaden, was making noises in the background.
Officers rushed to the scene and saw Moreno jump. Middletown firefighters pulled him to shore and a LifeStar medical helicopter airlifted Moreno to the hospital, where he was initially listed in serious condition. After searching the water for nearly 24 hours, authorities called it quits for the night, with no sign of Aaden’s body.
State police issued a Silver Alert for the boy Monday morning but later said the chances of finding him alive are slim.
“The Middletown police department has been able to confirm that a 7-month-old listed as missing did enter the Connecticut River last night. The search for the 7-month-old boy is now classified as a recovery,” Middletown police spokesman Lt. Heather Desmond said during a news conference Monday afternoon.
Moreno, meanwhile, has improved in the hospital and is now listed in stable condition. Police said he’s conscious and alert, but it’s not clear if Moreno has told investigators what may have happened to his young son. Police are still investigating but said they expect to file charges.
Community members gathered at the Middletown green Monday evening to hold a candlelight vigil for Aaden. A Facebook group entitled “Help Find Aaden Moreno!!” has garnered the support of more than 1,500 people.
Aaden is 2 feet tall and weighs 23 pounds, according to the Silver Alert issued Monday. He was last seen wearing black pants and a black-and-white striped shirt with a picture of Mickey Mouse on the front.
In the US, police will issue a Silver Alert for any child who is missing, along with missing people over the age of 65 and any other missing people who might have a medical condition requiring treatment.