No Bail for Dad Charged in Strangling Death of Toddler Son

Dontrell Johnson was found floating in Lake Michigan on Thursday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Donald Johnson

    A Chicago man was charged with murder Friday evening in the strangling death of his 14-month-old son, who was found floating in Lake Michigan a day earlier.

    Donald Johnson, 30, of the 2200 block of South Princeton, is charged with one count of first-degree murder, Cook County State's Attorney's office spokeswoman Sally Daly said.

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    A young boy pulled from Lake Michigan has been identified as Dontrell Johnson, who was taken from his South Side home by his father earlier this week.

    His son, Dontrell Johnson, of 7800 S. Greenwood Ave., was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital at 3:49 p.m. Thursday after he was pulled from the lake near 6800 S. Lake Shore Dr.

    A Friday autopsy revealed the baby died of strangulation and his death was ruled a homicide, the medical examiner's office said.

    "There is no satisfaction that comes with these charges.  There is only outrage at the incomprehensible malice and cowardice revealed in this investigation, and sorrow for the family forever haunted by these series of events," said Cmdr. Keith Calloway at a Friday evening press conference outlining the charges.

    Dontrell Johnson had been missing since Monday, when his father picked him up from an address in the 9400 bock of South Harvard, where neighbors said the boy's aunt lived.

    Police issued an "endangered juvenile" alert Thursday, saying the father had refused to return the boy and threatened him. The alert said the father had been found and arrested, but that he refused to divulge Dontrell's location.

    Family spokeswoman Gwen Baxter, said the mother, Regina Quarles, was estranged from the boy's father. The father wanted to restore his relationship with Quarles, but she had refused.

    "He wanted to get back together, but she did not want to be in a relationship with him," Baxter said. "Quarles thinks this was his way of hurting her."

    Johnson appeared in bond court this morning and was ordered to be held in jail with no bail.