Police continued to search a Chicago lagoon Monday morning after a gruesome discovery led officials to several body parts of a young child in the waters.
Officers were first called to the Garfield Park lagoon on the city’s West Side around 4:40 p.m. Saturday when someone called 911 to report something they had seen floating near the 200 block of McCrea Drive, according to Chicago Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi.
The object turned out to be a toddler's left foot, according to police.
Upon further investigation, officers found the right foot and a hand about 25 yards away.
The badly decomposed remains appeared to be from a child between 2 and 4 years old, according to Ald. Jason Ervin (28th Ward).
"We're not talking about a newborn or first or second grader, so this is someone who should be noticed is not around," Ervin said.
The search turned into a recovery operation Sunday as police continued looking for evidence in the par, utilizing marine and K-9 units.
A 20-pound weight was also found near the body parts, Guglielmi said. Police are investigating whether the discovery is connected to the remains or if it was simply dumped in the same area.
“Cases involving children are exceptionally difficult for all affected – even police," Guglielmi said. "We will comb every square inch of the lagoon for whatever may or may not be in there."
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Police have also begun looking through missing children reports in the city and state and have contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Guglielmi said.
Detectives have not yet determined the identity of the remains or the cause of death. The evidence will be sent to the Cook County medical examiner, who will be able to determine the manner of death in the coming days, according to Guglielmi.
The park is closed until further notice as police investigate.