A Zion baby missing since Thursday was killed for crying too much, police say, and the boyfriend of the infant’s mother is now being held for the murder.
Joshua Summeries has been missing since earlier in the week, prompting a sweeping police search. But as the days stretched on the hope of finding the Zion baby alive grew slim, and on Saturday 26-year-old Demetries Thorpe was held on charges of suffocating the 5-month-old boy.
Police said Thorpe, who is being held on $5 million bail, then threw the infant’s remains in the garbage.
Though Joshua’s body has not yet been found, on Saturday family members got a bit of closure. Close to 200 people came to mourn the infant at a vigil, including his father and mother.
“We will always love our son — no matter what,” said Clarence Summeries at a candlelight vigil, as the boy’s mother stood by his side.
The vigil drew people from throughout the area, including some who had never met Joshua.
“We are all in mourning. Today, we all heard the sad news of a child that was gone way to soon,” said Zion Central Middle School teacher Ciera McNeal, who organized the vigil.
Police said it was her boyfriend who murdered the baby, admitting to putting his hand over the infant’s mouth for 10 to 15 seconds when the boy would not stop crying. After the infant stopped breathing, Thorpe put the boy’s body in a backpack and dropped it out of a window. He then threw it in the garbage, telling the boy’s mother that Joshua was kidnapped.
Joshua’s mother confronted Thorpe, asking why he didn’t call police first. Thorpe then ran out of the apartment and brought the backpack to a Dumpster that was then loaded into a garbage truck.
“The size of a five-month-old is very small, not self-sufficient in any way out there in the elements, therefore we don’t believe there’s a lot of hope, but we still have some,” said Chief Wayne Brooks, Zion police department.
The search for the Zion baby continued on Saturday, focusing on a nearby landfill. More than 200 people joined the search, including FBI agents. Brooks said the search was like trying to find a needle in a haystack, only much more difficult.
Many area residents have joined in the search as well. Robert Pye, an unofficial volunteer, was using his two collies to search an alley near where the Zion baby disappeared. Pye said he planned to check on his side of town when he was finished.