The Garfield Park Lagoon may have reopened last month on Sept. 14, but the case of the missing toddler, whose remains were found in the water on Sept. 5, is still not closed.
Last month, when the feet, hands and head of what investigators believed to have been a two-year-old African American male toddler were found in the Lagoon, police launched a full investigation to find a suspect and to figure out what may have caused the child’s demise.
Authorities also discovered a 20-pound weight near the place where the child’s body parts were found, although it isn’t conclusive whether or not the weight has anything to do with the body parts.
Police, in cooperation with the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, scoured missing person cases across the country that may have a Chicago connection.
Late last month, police focused in on two-year-old Kyrian Knox, an African American toddler who was reported missing in Rockford in mid-September. The boy had been reportedly living with a family friend before his disappearance, according to media reports.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said last month that Chicago detectives went to Rockford to obtain a sample of Knox’s DNA from someone in his family. The sample was sent to an FBI lab in Virginia for testing. Guglielmi said the results would take time to process.
Investigators have been optimistic, but cautioned that a mixed-race heritage or even female gender can’t be ruled out from speculation regarding the missing toddler’s identity — which complicates the search process.
According to last month in the Chicago Tribune, investigators have also considered two other missing person cases — one out of nearby Gary and the other out of Arkansas, but “don’t feel either connection is strong.”
“There are people out there that know what happened to this baby,” Guglielmi told the Tribune. “We need you to come forward. This baby deserves better.”
Meanwhile, an organization in West Garfield Park has taken a proactive measure to ensure that this tragedy doesn’t repeat itself.
The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, among other agencies, hosted a giveaway of free medical ID cards on Oct. 1 at the Garfield Community Service Center, 10 S. Kedzie Ave.
The medical identification cards are available to Chicago residents of all ages and containts medical information and vital statistics of the individual. The KIDS ID program contains a child’s pictures, vital information and fingerprints, which could be made available to law enforcement, media outlets and various child protection agencies in case the child goes missing.
Those interested in obtaining free ID cards for themselves or their children can pick them up at the Office of the City Clerk, inside City Hall, 121 North LaSalle St., room 107. For more information, call (312) 742-5375.