Missing baby dies after being found in lake

October 7, 2010 8:18:32 PM PDT
A boy who died after being pulled from Lake Michigan has been identified as missing toddler Dontrell Johnson. The child was pronounced dead Thursday at 3:45 p.m., according to the boy's family. His body was found by a boater in Lake Michigan about three miles from the shore at 68th Street around 2 p.m.

"We had some concerned citizens make a phone call into our marine unit. They were fishing and came upon the baby floating in the water," said Sgt. Jeffrey Coleman, Chicago Special Victims Unit. The citizens apparently brought the baby onboard and took him to Jackson Harbor, where efforts were made to resuscitate the child. He was then rushed to University of Chicago Comer's Children's Hospital where he died an hour and half later.

The medical examiner will determine how long the child was in the water.

Dontrell was last seen by his paternal grandmother on Wednesday. His father, Donald Johnson, refused to return the boy to his mother or tell police the whereabouts of the toddler. He is in jail after threatening to harm his son.

Earlier Thursday, Dontrell's mother, Regina Quarles, pleaded for help in finding the missing child. Quarles, 25, called police to report the child missing after her ex-boyfriend Johnson allegedly made threatening phone calls.

"One hundred plus, back to back to back, he kept saying the same thing, 'You don't understand. He gone. Your fault...'" Quarles said of the calls from Johnson.

"He called my phone, 'It's too late.' I said, 'What do you mean by that?' He didn't say," said Quarles' sister.

On Monday Johnson took the boy to his mother's Chinatown apartment. She told family members she saw the toddler Wednesday afternoon.

Johnson, 30, has been in police custody at Area 2 Headquarters since Wednesday night. He refused to tell police what happened to his son.

Quarles said she and Johnson no longer have a relationship, but did share custody of Dontrell. Quarles said Johnson refused to return the toddler and threatened his life after she refused to continue a relationship with him.


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