Corey Micciolo murder: Mom of NJ boy, 6, sues DCPP alleging her multiple pleas to stop ‘monster’ dad’s abuse were ignored

Corey Micciolo murder: Mom of NJ boy, 6, sues DCPP alleging her multiple pleas to stop ‘monster’ dad’s abuse were ignored
Breanna Micciolo says her husband Christopher Gregor killed their son Corey after making him run on treadmill at fast speed (Ocean County Police, GoFundMe)

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

BARNEGAT, NEW JERSEY: The mother of a boy who was allegedly murdered by his father has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) in New Jersey.

Breanna Micciolo asserted in her civil lawsuit that her son Corey Micciolo could have been alive had the organization and its caseworkers "adequately, properly, and fully [investigated the] reports of abuse" about her son and his father, Christopher Gregor.

Breanna Micciolo sues DCPP for recklessness over son Corey's tragic death

The plaintiff, speaking on behalf of Corey Micciolo's estate, filed a lawsuit against the agency, alleging "negligent, reckless, and demonstrated palpably unreasonable conduct" and seeking survivor compensation in addition to wrongful death damages.

As per the lawsuit that was submitted to the Superior Court of Ocean County, "This lawsuit will not bring my son back, but it will hold DCPP accountable for him losing his life to a monster," Micciolo told Inside Edition Digital.

"They had an obligation to protect my son, they didn’t do that. They are at fault for my son's death, as well as the person who physically murdered him."

Micciolo stated that in September 2019, not long after Corey started spending time with his father, she made her first call to DCPP regarding a suspected case of child abuse.

The initial report surfaced following Corey's purported return home sporting a "swollen face" and a "busted lip." Corey refused to explain what had happened, and Micciolo says she took photos of his wounds and sent them to DCPP.

Micciolo claimed that from that point on, she made sure to record any injuries and submit a report to the DCPP. She submitted further reports in April 2020, July 2020, and April 2, 2021, the day her son Corey passed away.

In April 2020, she remarked, "I talked to someone on Friday about my son being abused, and no one continuing to investigate it. He’s got abused once again, and I found out about it yesterday."

She added, "Many reports are made and nothing has been done. It’s a bruise very similar to the one made in December by his father. My family documented the bruise and my son saying he was hit at his father's household."

"We fear that he needs medical attention because I was told he seemed like he was in pain and had trouble doing anything like running or moving too much. Is someone going to do something about this abuse or are we going to allow his father to continue to hurt him?" Micciolo questioned.

She went on to say, "I have pictures of injuries that began in September which is when is father came into life. Please get back to me. Thank you."

Breanna Micciolo's desperate attempts to save her son from abuse

In one email from July 2020, Micciolo included pictures of Corey with black eyes, scrapes, bruises, and what appeared to be a "bite mark."

In response, DCPP dispatched case workers to interview Corey, but Micciolo notes that they did so only when he was at his father's house. Following one of those interviews, Micciolo sent an email to DCPP stating, "[H]e's afraid of his father."

In 20 months, Micciolo claims to have submitted seven reports to the DCPP, one of which was in response to an incident that occurred on March 20, 2021.

She recalled noticing injuries on Corey's face when she picked him up from school following his overnight stay at his father's place.

Subsequently, Micciolo informed DCPP that her son had been made to run on a treadmill by his father, who also picked him up and put him back on the device each time he fell. She also informed them that her claims could be supported by video.

Breanna Micciolo requested emergency custody of her son

Inside Edition Digital has obtained the texts Micciolo sent to Corey's caseworker at that time. On March 25, Micciolo wrote the caseworker, "Since I'm in the area, I'd like to meet with you if possible for an interview or if need be, I'll drive back to my house."

That text went unanswered, and five days later, Micciolo texted the case worker once more. "It’s Breanna I just wanted to let you know the incident took place Saturday March 20th around 4-5 pm to be more precise," Micciolo wrote.

That text directed the caseworker to the security video of the treadmill incident that was taken at the gym inside Gregor's New Jersey apartment building.

(The US Sun/screengrab)
Surveillance footage from the fitness center at Christopher Gregor's apartment complex captured Corey Micciolo running on a treadmill on March 20, 2021
(The US Sun/Screengrab)

The probable case affidavit in Gregor's murder case described a video where Corey fell off a treadmill while Gregor adjusted the speed. Corey regained footing and continued running, falling off the back each time.

Micciolo later claimed that Gregor was mad at Corey, leading to the incident. Corey's medical report revealed bruises on his body, some from the treadmill and others from playing on turf. Micciolo took him to a hospital for X-rays and bloodwork, which confirmed no internal injuries.

Micciolo filed an Order to Show Cause on March 31, 2021, requesting emergency custody of Corey while the DCPP looked into her most recent abuse allegation.

Six days after the reported incident, DCPP allegedly saw the video, and a case worker later informed police that he had taken pictures and looked into Corey's bruises.

The decision was made based in large part on the preliminary findings regarding the March 20 incident that the DCPP submitted, according to the ruling that Inside Edition Digital was able to obtain.

The ruling stated, however, that the court "does not find that ... Corey is in danger of imminent and irreparable harm. Therefore, the Court does not find a temporary modification of the parties' custody and parenting time arrangement appropriate at this time."

Breanna Micciolo slams DCPP for not taking her child's safety seriously

On April 2, 2021, at around 9 in the morning, Micciolo drove Corey to Gregor's house. She informed the police that she had not spoken to Gregor since he informed her that he was taking Corey to the hospital at around 3.30 pm.

The probable cause affidavit states that Corey passed away two hours after arriving at the hospital. His blunt force injuries with cardiac and liver contusions, acute inflammation, and sepsis were the medical examiner's conclusions regarding the cause of death. 

Micciolo discussed her son's death for the first time in April 2024. She vented her annoyance at DCPP, claiming that despite her reports of abuse, the organization tasked with safeguarding children never regarded her seriously.

“I did everything. I told them, I filmed his bruises, I recorded him telling me and my sister and my mother what his father was doing,” Micciolo said last month.

The worst part, according to her, was that Gregor grew more confident in his abuse of Corey the more her accusations were disregarded. According to Micciolo, "the more he got away with it, the worse the abuse got." "And he was aware after the first time I reported it [in 2019]."

DCPP finally investigates into Corey Micciolo's case but after his death

Christine Lento, the supervising assistant prosecutor in Gregor's murder case, discussed the treadmill video during a preliminary hearing one year after Corey's passing.

She maintained in court that Gregor ought to be detained in custody until his trial because the acts depicted in the video were so heinous.

"The video that was viewed by the court really speaks for itself in illustrating that this defendant did abuse this child," Lento told the jury. "I think when you watch the video, it’s fair to say that anyone who would do this to a child does pose a significant risk to the community."

Judge Wendel E Daniels of the Superior Court wrote about the video in his order even though he did not rule in Lento's favor.

"It did show intolerant, cruel, despicable and injurious type of behavior by this defendant and that’s what the state focuses on for detention," Judge Daniels wrote.

When Micciolo saw the video, Corey had already died a year before, and she said it broke her heart to consider how things might have turned out differently if the judge and DCPP caseworker who handled her custody request had been as moved by the evidence as this prosecutor and judge were.

"I feel like I did everything I could possibly do to prevent this. I shouldn’t have been forced to drop him off that day," Micciolo tells Inside Edition.

"I wish I never did, but at the end it would’ve been the same result since no one was listening or doing anything. If I didn’t take him that day, I probably would’ve been arrested and he would’ve been there another day."

She added, "There was nothing that could’ve stopped his murder besides for DCPP stepping in."

In the end, DCPP verified two of Micciolo's claims of abuse. These were the reports Micciolo filed following the treadmill incident and just hours before Corey died, according to letters she received and shared with Inside Edition Digital.

The letters supporting Micciolo's claimed were sent to her by DCPP twenty months after Corey died. Additionally, it is stated in both letters that "The Division will not be providing further services to Corey Micciolo and his family." 

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