Joshua Summeries, a 5-month-old baby from the Chicago suburb of Zion, is now believed to be dead. Known across the world since Wednesday as the “Zion Baby,” little Joshua’s disappearance has garnered the attention, and help, of hundreds of police officers in the Chicago area.
On Wednesday morning, just before 8:00 a.m., Summeries’ mother called 911 to report that her infant son had been kidnapped. She gave no indication at that time of anyone she thought was involved. She later told police that the infant was crying around 5:00 that morning, and her boyfriend, Demetries Thorpe, said he would handle it. According to the child’s mother, Thorpe came back later and told her that Joshua had been kidnapped. They argued when she asked him why he didn’t call the police, and he ran from the apartment.
Upon their initial search of the residence, investigators reported that they “found some evidence to believe that the baby’s disappearance was suspicious.” From the beginning, Thorpe was investigators’ only suspect, and was apprehended walking around a nearby neighborhood later on Wednesday.
By Friday, Police had still released only a few details since beginning their investigation, instead, updating the case and questions via their Facebook page. Zion Police Chief Wayne Brooks kept the page updated, asking area residents on Wednesday to “conduct a detailed search of their own property and specifically their garbage cans.” Brooks elaborated on suggesting garbage cans, “as they are an obvious place to dispose or hide anything of evidentiary value.”
Police officers, at least fifty on the scene with ‘two nationally-recognized and highly-trained search dogs,’ searched through a 330-acre landfill on Green Bay Road in Zion on Friday. The landfill owner said that the officers began searching around 7:30 a.m. As of Friday evening, no evidence of Joshua had yet been recovered.
Today, after three days of searching, police finally released why they had held Thorpe in custody for the past two days.
After three days of questioning, investigators finally learned what they needed to know from Thorpe; they held a press conference on Saturday, at which time they announced that Demetries Thorpe, the 26-year-old boyfriend of Joshua’s mother, had been charged with the infant’s murder. He was to be placed on $5 million bail.
Over the course of Thorpe’s questioning since his arrest on Wednesday, he allegedly confessed to investigators that he had suffocated the crying child for approximately fifteen to thirty seconds with his hand over the boy’s mouth on the day of the “kidnapping.” When Joshua did not cry any longer, he put the baby’s body into a backpack, and dropped it from a window. Thorpe’s confession of the details recounting his disposal of Summeries’ body align with those caught on a nearby surveillance camera; footage shows Thorpe, with a backpack, walking to a nearby dumpster that was about to be emptied. After the garbage truck proceeds to empty the trash and leave the waste bin, Thorpe is seen walking away without the backpack.
There has not been any word yet on whether Joshua has been found. The baby’s mother is believed to have not known anything about the situation after being questioned by police. Joshua’s father was also interviewed and determined to be unaware of any details surrounding his son’s disappearance.