Zion officials said Thursday they fear the worst as they continued searching for Joshua Summeries, a missing 5-month-old boy from the far north suburb.
"My hope is the baby is alive. My fear is no," Zion Chief of Police Wayne Brooks said during an afternoon press conference. "There's not a lot of hope, but we still hold out some."
Based on information he'd been given by investigators, Brooks said he hoped for resolution in the case by Thursday evening or Friday morning.
A day earlier authorities from several law enforcement agencies converged on a Zion neighborhood to search for the boy, who they said vanished under "suspicious circumstances."
Someone called authorities just after 8 a.m. Wednesday, police said, and said "unknown persons" took the infant from a unit in an apartment complex on the 2300 block of Galilee Avenue.
A man described as his mother's boyfriend was found later in the day hiding in the woods on the north end of Zion and taken in for questioning. Brooks said the boyfriend is considered a "person of interest" but had not been charged with a crime as of Thursday afternoon.
Brooks said authorities have gone door-to-door in the area looking for information leading to the baby's return and, while no volunteer searches were planned, he urged residents wanting to help to do a detailed search of their home's property, specifically garbage cans.
"The garbage and waste containers are an obvious place to dispose or hide anything of evidentiary value," Brooks said, noting the city has asked its garbage collectors to hold off picking up trash until Friday.
He said the investigation was progressing well but added: "We do not have any real good idea of where Joshua may be."
He stressed that the case appears to be an isolated incident and said there was no danger to the public.