Waukegan family unable to bury son's remains

September 5, 2013 7:23:30 PM PDT
A far north suburban family is searching for answers in their son's death. For more than a year now, they say they've been given the runaround by police and they still can't put their son to rest.

"I said 'Well, you know what? That's my son and whether anyone feels anything for him, I do," said Venus Hampton, mother.

Venus Hampton and Larry Jones simply want to bury their son. Chezevon Jones, 30, was last seen leaving work at a Gary, Indiana clothing store. A month later his body was found along abandoned along railroad tracks not far away.

"He was coming home that night and hasn't made it yet," said Venus Hampton.

While the body was found on August 1, 2012, just a mile and a half from where Jones worked, the family says it wasn't until 11 months later on June 27, 2013, that DNA proved it was Jones. The cause of death was blunt force trauma.

On August 21, 2013, they met, along with a member of their church's pastoral team, with the Lake County coroner asking for a death certificate so a funeral home could pick up their son's remains.

"Larry and Venus aren't getting any closure and on the 21st when we met with the coroner they said 'We're going to give closure today.' It didn't happen," said Jim Wheeler, First Baptist Church of Waukegan.

"It's been over a year and they said they have to send it off to the state," said Larry Jones, father.

ABC7's Ben Bradley asks, "So, you're still waiting?"

"Yes, still waiting," said Jones.

The Jones turned to their state rep's office in Waukegan for help.

"People need to be accountable and held responsible for what has happened. No justice has been done," said Rep. Monique Fenner, Illinois 60th District chief of staff.

"I just want to get his remains, to finally bring him home," said Hampton.

Despite repeated calls to Lake County Indiana coroner Merilee Frey and promises that she would get back to the station, ABC7 has heard nothing.

Gary police tell ABC7 they do have a person of interest in Chezevon Jones murder that they'd like to speak with, but that person has left the state. And since they don't have any physical evidence, they can't go get him.

Update: After ABC7 began looking into the delayed death certificate, the chief of staff for State Rep Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan) says the family has been told Jones' body will be released and ready for burial this weekend.


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