Police to Drain Garfield Park Lagoon in Continued Recovery Efforts for Toddler's Remains

The cause and manner of death are pending the results of additional tests and an ongoing police investigation

A Chicago lagoon where multiple dismembered body parts of small child were discovered over the weekend will be drained Tuesday, police announced.

Search teams will drain the lagoon on the city’s West Side neighborhood of Garfield Park at 4 p.m. to aid continued recovery efforts of the human remains, according to police.

Draining the waters could take two or more day to complete, police said.

The decision comes a day after the Cook County medical examiner estimated the age of the child at time of death was likely between 2 and 3 years old. The medical examiner determined the toddler was African American after a head was recovered Sunday night.

The cause and manner of death are pending the results of additional tests and an ongoing police investigation.

Officers were first called to the lagoon around 4:40 p.m. Saturday when someone called 911 to report they saw something strange floating in the water, Chicago Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said. The object in the water 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. Later Sunday, they recovered the child's head.

All of the body parts were decomposed, according to the medical examiner.

A 20-pound weight was also found near the body parts, Guglielmi said. Police are still investigating whether the weight is connected to the discovery of the remains or if it was simply dumped in the same area.

Meanwhile, local residents say the park is dangerous and doesn’t have enough lighting.

“The things you find over there on the ground, condoms, underwear, you see the girls half naked, you see some stuff your eyes do not want to believe over there,” resident Connie Mitchell said.

The police marine unit continued its search Monday.

"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." 

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.

Garfield Park is closed until further notice as police investigate.

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