‘Unthinkable’: Parts of Toddler’s Dismembered Body Found Floating in Lagoon at Chicago Park
CHICAGO (TheBlaze/AP) — After a toddler’s dismembered feet and hand were discovered in a lagoon at a Chicago urban park, detectives waded through cattail reeds and waist-high water Sunday, hoping to find more clues about the young victim’s identity.
A dog with a K-9 unit sniffed though shrubs, branches and boulders on the edge of Garfield Park on the city’s west side while investigators felt the muddy lagoon bottom with their hands, looking for other body parts or evidence.
The search began Saturday afternoon after someone reported seeing what turned out to be a left foot floating in the lagoon. Officers later found a decomposed right foot and a hand about 25 yards away, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
Jason Ervin, the alderman for the district, said investigators told him the victim was likely 2 to 4 years old. Kids that age, Ervin said Sunday, would be noticed by relatives or neighbors if they went missing.
“It is unthinkable that someone would dismember a child and throw them into the lagoon,” he said.
Investigators haven’t determined the child’s identity, Guglielmi said. He said detectives were going through Chicago-area missing persons cases to determine if there could be a link. There was no indication the remains were from more than one child, Ervin said.
Residents gathered on the perimeter of the park Sunday, speculating about how a child’s remains may have ended up there. Perry Starks, 58, who lives a few blocks away, said there had been no alerts recently about any missing child.
“Usually someone would be asking, ‘Where’s my child?’” he said. “We haven’t heard anything like that.”
A dozen detectives could be seen walking around the lagoon on an unseasonably hot day in the grim search for more remains. A police chaplain also arrived, saying as he walked by reporters that he was there “to provide moral support” to officers. He didn’t give his name.