CPD drains Garfield Park lagoon where toddler's body parts found

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Police Department will drain the Garfield Park lagoon where a toddler's head, feet and hands were found over the weekend.

"It's a responsibility we have to find the remaining parts of this child and make sure that's all there is," Chicago Ald. Jason Ervin, Ward 28, said.

The medical examiner determined the body parts belong to the same child: an African-American toddler between the ages of 2 and 3 years old.

The child's foot surfaced Saturday afternoon. Divers scouring the lagoon found the head. The next step in the investigation is draining the lagoon, which could take 2 to 5 days with Tuesday's rain.

Chicago Water Management crews began the process Tuesday morning. They started by damming off the east side of the lagoon at Central Park Avenue. Next, they will pump the rest of the water into sewers on Hamlin Boulevard, which will be closed from Lake Street to Washington Boulevard.

Once the draining and investigation is complete, the temporary dam will be removed to allow the water to flow back into the west side. Future rainwater will refill the lagoon to its regular level.

Krystal Malloy lives in the Garfield Park neighborhood.

"We play in this park. We come and feed the geese in this park. It's really uncomfortable to know this happened. I walk past this park every night to come home from work. That's uncomfortable to know," she said.

"We have violence all the time. It hurts even more to see it's a child. This is a child that belonged to somebody. Why are they not screaming about it?" Harold Taylor said.

Detectives are comparing the remains with missing persons reports filed in and around Chicago, including that of King Walker, a 2-year-old from Gary, Ind., who went missing with his developmentally disabled aunt in late July. Police said nothing links the remains to Walker.

"A child, 2 or 3 year old, it should be noticed that a child is missing. So we want the community, if they know something to reach out and call the police department," Ald. Ervin said.

A group of people held a prayer vigil Tuesday night for the unidentified child.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.