When Tony Moreno called his mother from the Arrigoni Bridge, his 7-month-old son was cooing — then briefly crying — in the background.
He asked her to come to the bridge, which stretches over the Connecticut River, to retrieve his phone and baby stroller.
“Sorry,” he told her that summer day in 2015, according to court documents obtained by ABC affiliate WTNH. “Just tell everyone I’m sorry.”
Then, according to the documents, Moreno texted the mother of his child, writing: “Enjoy your new life without us now.”
“ … Tony I’m trying to make this co parent thing work!” she responded.
“Your [sic] not a parent anymore,” Moreno wrote to her.
She asked where he was, then asked about their son.
“He’s dead,” Moreno replied. “And soon I will be too.”
Investigators say Moreno tossed the 7-month-old child into the water late that night on July 5, 2015, in Middletown, Conn. — and then jumped about 100 feet down to join him.
The child died.
Moreno survived and is now on trial for murder.
In court Tuesday, a police officer told the jury that Moreno had spoken with a psychiatrist at the hospital where he was being treated after he jumped from the bridge, saying he had thought about killing himself but did not want to leave his son to be raised by his ex-girlfriend’s family, according to the Hartford Courant.
Middletown police officer Lee Buller said that Moreno told him he could stay in the hospital room during the interview with the psychiatrist.
“He said he knew what he needed to do,” Buller told the court, according to the newspaper.
“And what was it that he needed to do?” Middlesex State’s Attorney Peter McShane asked.
“He needed to kill his son and then kill himself,” Buller responded.
The psychiatrist, Samira Solomon, told the jury that during the interview, Moreno was “ambivalent about being alive” and had “recent thought and intent to kill his son,” according to the Courant.
“I recall the patient being adamant about his intention to be dead before he was arrested,” Solomon said, according to the newspaper. She added that Moreno wanted to commit suicide but “was afraid of his son living in his current life situation,” so he wanted to kill himself and his son.
Moreno’s attorney, Norm Pattis, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Moreno’s mother, Denise Moreno, said in court that because her son was so upset, and because it was so late at night, “I assumed he might jump,” according to the New Haven Register.
She told police that she scrambled to find her car keys, then sped to the bridge along with Moreno’s younger brother. She dialed 911 on the way and arrived about the same time as a police officer.
Her son was standing alone on the bridge.
“I saw the look on his face,” she told jurors, according to the newspaper. “He was distraught. He was upset. His eyes were puffy. I told him to put one foot in front of the other and keep coming. He said he couldn’t.”
“Stay away from me,” Moreno shouted from the bridge, according to the court documents.
At about the same time, Moreno’s ex-girlfriend was hysterically texting him about their son, Aaden.
She later told police that she and Moreno had talked earlier in the day and had a disagreement about custody.
It was almost midnight when he had started texting her, saying he was going to kill their son.
“You tried to take him away from me,” Moreno wrote, according to the court documents. “You failed. I didn’t.”
“Enjoy your life with out us now.”
“Where are you?!” she responded.
Moreno told her that their son was dead.
“Your [sic] playing right now!” she wrote. “Please tell me your (sic) kidding!!!!!!!!”
“Don’t f—— talk like that,” she typed.
“You couldn’t kill your own son!” she said.
“Tony,” she said. “Please!!!!!!!!”
In court earlier this week, jurors heard from a witness who said she saw a man on the bridge holding a baby over his shoulders, according to the New Haven Register. The child was dressed in a white onesie, the witness recalled.
But when police and Moreno’s mother arrived that night, the child was not there.
Jurors also heard a recording of the 911 call in which Denise Moreno asked an emergency dispatcher to tell the officer to let her go to her son.
“Please, I can’t let him go,” she said on the call, according to the Register. “He just called and said he was on the bridge and was going to jump. He has his 7-month-old son with him.”
According to the Register, Middletown Police Officer Austin Smith, who was on the bridge that night, said in court that he saw Moreno “put both his hands on the railing and hurl himself over.”
“He jumped! He jumped! He jumped!” an officer shouted over the radio, the Register reported. “We don’t know where the kid is! We don’t know where the kid is!”
The stroller was empty — aside from some blankets and a pacifier.
Another officer who responded to the scene said in court that he spotted Moreno in the water.
“I asked him several times where the baby was. He looked at us several times, but never answered,” Officer Steven DiMassa said, according to the Register. “I asked him to swim to us. It appeared he was trying.”
After first responders pulled Moreno from the water, DiMassa said he asked the question again.
“I went up, I got right up in his face and asked him where the baby was,” the officer said in court.
Moreno did not answer he said.
Moreno was taken to Middlesex Hospital, then transported via helicopter to Hartford Hospital for treatment, according to the court documents. His booking photo, which was taken at his initial arrest, shows him with swollen black-and-blue eyes and bruising on his face. Police said the injuries were caused by his jumping from a 100-foot-high bridge into the water.
After a two-day search for Aaden’s body, a kayaker found him in East Haddam, according to the Hartford Courant.
If Moreno is convicted of his son’s murder, he could face up to 70 years in prison, according to local news reports.
This article has been updated.