Charges have been filed in relation to the murder of a 2-year-old boy whose dismembered remains were found in a Chicago park's lagoon in September of 2015, police announced Tuesday.
Kamel Harris, 41, of the 400 block of Ford Street in Rockford, was charged Monday evening with first degree murder, concealment of homicidal death and dismembering a human body, all felonies.
During a news conference, police said Harris, a friend of 2-year-old Kyrian Knox's mother, was watching the child as a favor. Kyrian, who was lactose intolerant, police said, began crying after drinking some milk. Police allege the child’s crying prompted Harris to then kill and dismembered the 2-year-old, disposing of his remains in a Chicago lagoon.
Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago Police Department spokesman, called Harris a "barbaric monster" in a tweet sent Tuesday evening.
"We promised we'd never give up on him and we havent. CPD detectives made an arrest in the murder & decapitation of 2 yr old Kyrian Knox," the Chicago Police Department tweeted.
Lanisha Knox, the boy's mother, said by phone from her home in Georgia Tuesday she was told by a detective that an arrest had been made in relation to her child's death.
"I felt sick, I felt happy, I felt relieved," Knox said. "I felt a lot of the stuff all at the same time."
Authorities had ruled the death of 2-year-old Kyrian Knox a homicide.
In late November, investigators said they’d hit a wall in the investigation as the last known people to have seen the boy alive were not cooperating with police.
The body parts were found in a Garfield Park lagoon Sept. 5, 2015 about two weeks before Kyrian was reported missing from a residence in Rockford where he’d been staying with Harris and Harris’ girlfriend Danyelle Foggs. Kyrian’s mother told investigators she left her son there while she moved from Rockford to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Based on the missing person report, Chicago Police went to Rockford to collect DNA from Kyrian’s mother, which matched the remains found in the lagoon.
Before the DNA match, Rockford police interviewed Harris, the friend who reported Kyrian missing. He told investigators he’d handed the boy over to three people who claimed they were friends of the Knox family and would be taking Kyrian to his mother. Rockford police also spoke to Foggs.
Police said Lanisha Knox was cooperating with investigators.