A toddler’s body parts were found in a Chicago river over the weekend, and police are looking for answers.
A child’s hand and foot were discovered in the Garfield Park Lagoon on Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday, the head was also discovered. A 20-pound weight recovered near the site where the toddler’s hand and foot were found. According to the Chicago Tribune, the toddler’s remains were in an advanced state of decomposition and unclothed.
Authorities were called about the toddler’s body parts when someone reported a foot floating in the lagoon on Saturday afternoon — which turned out to be the left foot of a young child.
A group of detectives and K-9 officers were searching the lagoon Sunday morning for more possible clues in the horrific mystery. At one point, one of the police dogs sniffed the shoreline and jumped into the water as if it was on to something.
Police reportedly gathered several items from the lagoon, which appeared to be machinery or tool-type objects. There was other evidence taken from the shore as well.
Police say that the toddler’s remains found belong to a child probably aged two- to four-years-old. The gender is unknown.
Perry Starks is a member of the Garfield Park Advisory Council and says the area where the toddler’s dismembered body parts were discovered was in an unlit area where people often go to sell or buy drugs, have sex, or sleep overnight. It’s not the most inviting area, and other bodies in the past have been found there. The lagoon is, however, safe overall, and people there hope that this tragedy won’t define the area.
According to resident, Ricky Smith, he tells ABC News that people love going to Garfield Park Lagoon because it’s a nice place to relax.
“People come to this park because there are never shenanigans here.”
The community surrounding the lagoon is said to be lower-income, but it’s a relatively quiet area.
There haven’t been any reports of missing children in the area, so it’s unclear if someone traveled an unknown distance from the lagoon and dropped off the child’s dead body and limbs.
Sadly, recovery of the toddler’s remains comes at a time that the park has increased in popularity. A number of improvements have taken place and now a tragedy has overshadowed the joy of it.
An investigation continues into how the toddler’s body parts were left in the lagoon. There’s no word on possible leads or if there are any suspects at this point.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]