Bre Micciolo claims in her civil suit that if the agency and its case workers had “adequately, properly, and fully [investigated] the reports of abuse” she made about her son and his father, Christopher Gregor, her son Corey might still be alive.
The mother of a New Jersey boy who was allegedly murdered by his father has filed a wrongful death suit against the state’s Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP).
Bre Micciolo claims in her civil suit that her son Corey might still be alive if the agency and its case workers “adequately, properly, and fully [investigated] the] reports of abuse” she made about her son and his father, Christopher Gregor.
In the suit, she accuses the agency of “negligent, reckless, and demonstrably unreasonable conduct,” and she seeks both wrongful death and survivor damages on behalf of Corey Micciolo’s estate.
Inside Edition Digital obtained a copy of the suit, which was filed in Ocean County Superior Court.
“This lawsuit will not bring my son back, but it will hold DCPP accountable for him losing his life to a monster,” Micciolo explains to Inside Edition Digital. “They owed it to my son to protect him, and they failed to do so.” They, as well as the person who physically murdered my son, are to blame for his death.”
Micciolo claims she first reported an allegation of child abuse to DCPP in September 2019, shortly after Corey began spending time with his father.
The first report stated that Corey had returned home with a “busted lip” and a “swollen face.” Corey refused to say what happened, and Micciolo claims she photographed his injuries and submitted them to DCPP.
Micciolo says she made a point of documenting any injuries and filing a report with DCPP from then on.
She submitted additional reports in April 2020, July 2020, and April 2, 2021, the day her son Corey died.
Micciolo shared some of her communications with DCPP with Inside Edition Digital.
“I talked to someone on Friday about my son being abused, and no one is continuing to investigate it,” she wrote in April 2020. He’s been abused once more, and I only found out about it yesterday. Many reports have been filed, but nothing has been done. It’s a bruise that looks exactly like the one his father made in December. My family photographed the bruise and my son’s claim that he was hit at his father’s house. We are concerned that he requires medical attention because he appeared to be in pain and had difficulty doing things like running or moving around too much. Is something going to be done about this abuse, or are we going to let his father continue to harm him? I have pictures of injuries that began in September, when his father was born. Please contact me again. Thank you very much.”
Estate Of Corey Micciolo CiviL Suit
Micciolo also sent photos of Corey with bruises, scrapes, black eyes, and what she described as a “bite mark” in an email from July 2020.
According to Micciolo, DCPP responded by sending case workers to interview Corey, but always while he was at his father’s house.
“[H]e’s afraid of his father,” Micciolo said in an email to DCPP following one of the interviews.
Micciolo claims she filed seven reports with DCPP over a 20-month period, including one following an incident on March 20, 2021.
She recalls picking up Corey from school after he had spent the night at his father’s house and discovering injuries on his face.
Micciolo later told DCPP that her son was forced to run on a treadmill by his father and was physically picked up and placed back on the machine every time he fell.
She also informed them that there was video evidence to back up her claims.
Emergency Custody Bid
Micciolo shared with Inside Edition Digital the texts she sent to Corey’s case worker at the time.
“Since I’m in the area, I’d like to meet with you for an interview if possible, or if necessary, I’ll drive back to my house,” Micciolo wrote to the caseworker on March 25.
There was no response to that text, so Micciolo texted the case worker again five days later. “This is Breanna.” “I just wanted to let you know that the incident occurred on Saturday, March 20th, around 4-5 p.m.,” Micciolo wrote.
That text directed the case worker to the surveillance footage from Gregor’s New Jersey apartment building’s fitness center, which captured the treadmill incident.
What happens in the video is described in the probable case affidavit filed by police in Gregor’s murder case.
“Around 1618 hours, [Corey] starts running on a treadmill. “Gregor approached the treadmill at approximately 1627 hours and appears to increase the speed,” according to the affidavit. “Around 1628 hours, [Corey] falls off the back of the treadmill. Gregor then picks up [Corey] by grabbing his shirt and putting him back on the treadmill. Gregor appears to be biting on the top of [Corey’s] head as he struggles to gain footing.
“[Corey] regains his footing and continues running on the treadmill,” according to the affidavit. “Gregor appears to adjust the treadmill’s speed as [Corey] falls off the back again.” [Corey] attempts to run onto the moving treadmill four more times, each time falling off the back, while Gregor stands nearby.”
Micciolo later told police that this occurred because Gregor was upset with Corey.
“[Corey] told Micciolo that Gregor made him run really fast on the treadmill because Gregor was angry.” “While running on the treadmill, [Corey] fell and hit his head,” according to the affidavit.
Corey’s medical report from his visit to the pediatrician following this incident was reviewed by Inside Edition Digital. It was noted that Corey had bruises all over his body, and he told the doctor that some of the bruises were caused by him falling on the treadmill, while others were caused by playing on turf.
According to the doctor, Corey “became tearful when he asked me to promise not to tell anyone what he said.”
Micciolo claims she took Corey to a nearby hospital the same day for X-rays and bloodwork to ensure no internal injuries. That visit was fruitful, as medical records revealed that Corey had no internal injuries.
Micciolo filed an Order to Show Cause on March 31, 2021, seeking emergency custody of Corey while DCPP investigated her latest abuse allegation.
DCPP had seen the video, and a case worker later told police that six days after the alleged incident, he photographed and investigated bruising on Corey.
Corey Micciolo Custody Order
According to the ruling, which was obtained by Inside Edition Digital, the preliminary findings submitted by DCPP about the March 20 incident played a critical role in the judge’s decision.
However, the ruling states that the court “does not find that… Corey is in imminent and irreparable harm.” As a result, the Court does not believe that a temporary modification of the parties’ custody and parenting time arrangement is necessary at this time.”
Micciolo dropped Corey off at Gregor’s house around 9 a.m. on April 2, 2021. She told police that she last heard from Gregor around 3:30 p.m., when he said he was taking Corey to the hospital.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Corey died two hours after arriving at the hospital.
The medical examiner determined his cause of death to be blunt force injuries with cardiac and liver contusions with acute inflammation and sepsis.
Micciolo first spoke with Inside Edition Digital about her son’s death last month. She expressed her dissatisfaction with DCPP, claiming that the agency tasked with protecting children never took her allegations of abuse seriously.
“Everything was done by me. “I told them, I photographed his bruises, and I taped him telling me, my sister, and my mother what his father was doing,” Micciolo said last month.
The worst part, she said, was that the more her allegations were ignored, the more confident Gregor became in his abuse of Corey.
“The more he got away with it, the worse the abuse got,” Micciolo observed. “And he was aware after I reported it the first time [in 2019].”
DCPP SUBSTANTIATES ABUSE
Prosecutors formally charged Gregor with murder in March 2022 and ordered him held without bond at the Ocean County Jail.
“On March 3, 2022, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office received a report from the State’s expert witness indicating that [Corey] died as a result of blunt force impact to the chest and abdomen, and determined the manner of the child’s death to be homicide,” Ocean County Prosecutors stated in a press release following Gregor’s arrest. “An extensive investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, the Barnegat Township Police Department, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that [Corey] was in the custody of Gregor at the time he sustained his life-ending injuries, and that Gregor is the individual responsible for the child’s death.”
Gregor faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
“Cory Micciolo died as a result of Pneumonia complications.” While it is a tragedy, it is not a homicide, according to our expert and even the Ocean County Medical Examiner,” Gregor’s attorney tells Inside Edition Digital. “My client completely denies all of the allegations and is looking forward to a trial in a courtroom, not a trial by social media, as the Micciolos have been so diligently attempting to do.”
DCPP Case investigation
Christine Lento, the supervising assistant prosecutor in Gregor’s murder case, spoke about the treadmill video at a preliminary hearing one year after Corey’s death.
She argued in court that Gregor’s actions in the video were so heinous that he should be denied bail and held in jail until his trial.
“The video that was viewed by the court really speaks for itself in illustrating that this defendant did abuse this child,” Lento said in court. “I think it’s fair to say, after watching the video, that anyone who would do this to a child poses a significant risk to the community.”
Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels did not rule in favor of Lento, but he did write about the video in his ruling.
“It did show intolerant, cruel, despicable, and injurious type of behavior by this defendant, and that’s what the state focuses on for detention,” wrote Judge Daniels.
Corey had been dead for a year at that point, and Micciolo says it was heartbreaking to consider how different things could have been if the judge and DCPP case worker who oversaw her custody bid had felt the same way when they saw the video.
“I feel like I did everything I could to avoid this.” “I shouldn’t have had to drop him off that day,” Micciolo says to Inside Edition. “I wish I hadn’t done it, but the end result would have been the same because no one was listening or doing anything.” If I hadn’t taken him that day, I would have been arrested and he would have been there the next day.”
“There was nothing that could’ve stopped his murder except DCPP intervening,” she adds.
DCPP eventually confirmed two of Micciolo’s allegations of abuse.
These are the reports Micciolo filed after the treadmill incident and hours before Corey died, according to letters she received and shared with Inside Edition Digital.
The letters substantiating Micciolo’s allegations were delivered to her 20 months after Corey died. Both letters state that “the Division will not be providing any further services to Corey Micciolo and his family.”
The New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Inside Edition Digital.