CHICAGO (AP) — The dismembered remains of a toddler found in a Chicago lagoon were identified through DNA as that of a 2-year-old northern Illinois boy reported missing in September, Chicago police said Wednesday.
The FBI informed local investigators that remains found in September in the Garfield Park lagoon on Chicago's west side were that of Kyrian Knox of Rockford, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. The family was notified and a death investigation continues to determine why and how the boy was killed, he said.
"My heart is hurting right now," Kyrian's grandmother, Cameshia Harris, told the Chicago Tribune. "We're processing the information as a family that we were given today. The family is together and we are trying to wrap our minds over it."
The boy was reported missing Sept. 17. His mother, Lanisha Knox, said she left Kyrian with friends while she was moving to a new home and was notified of his disappearance by police. Authorities said at the time that they believed Kyrian went missing in mid-August, but the exact date wasn't clear.
The remains were found Sept. 5, when a park visitor reported seeing what turned out to be a left foot floating in the lagoon. Officers later found a decomposed right foot and a hand about 25 yards away. Additional body parts were recovered from the park and police categorized the case as a death investigation.
Detectives began culling missing person reports as they worked to identify the victim, and investigators went to Rockford to collection DNA from Kyrian's mother.
Guglielmi said Chicago police and the Rockford Police Department will coordinate their investigations into Kyrian's death.
"It is a high priority for Chicago police to determine how Kyrian died and hold the people responsible accountable," he said.
Guglielmi refused to say who investigators are questioning in the boy's death, saying they have a long way to go in determining how he was killed. He said identifying the victim was a tremendous break in the case.