Kisha Summeries, the mother of murdered 5-month-old infant Joshua Summeries, called on volunteers to continue searching an Illinois landfill Thursday after an official search of the dump ended Sunday without finding a body.
Little Joshua was reported missing last week. Kisha Summeries’ boyfriend Demetries Thorpe, of Zion, Ill., was charged with first-degree murder in the tot’s death, according to Chicago’s ABC affiliate. Thorpe allegedly told authorities he put Joshua’s body in a Dumpster that investigators believe wound up in a landfill in Zion, north of Chicago, prompting a search of the dump.
Thorpe allegedly told officers that he was trying to stop Joshua from crying when he killed the infant, according to the Daily Herald. Police told the paper they had video footage of Thorpe by the Dumpster.
Media reports differed widely as to Thorpe’s age; ABC reported he was 40 while the Chicago Tribune said he was 26.
Kisha Summeries has called on the Zion landfill, which receives about 1,700 tons of garbage a day, to stop taking in new trash until Joshua’s body is recovered.
"She needs the closure. She wants to be able to (say goodbye) with dignity," Chicago activist Clyde McLemore told the Tribune.
A search of the landfill was conducted by Illinois and Wisconsin National Guardsmen. The search ended Sunday night without Joshua’s body being found. The search involved trained cadaver dogs, according to ABC.
“Personnel using rakes and their hands then tediously sifted through the refuse,” the Zion Police Department said in a statement. “This same painstaking search method continued for more than four full days, until the area where Joshua was thought to be had been completely and meticulously cleared. This search took a physical and emotional toll on even the most seasoned professionals, who did everything humanly possible to find Joshua."
Kisha Summeries wants the search to go on, according to McLemore.
"We understand there's a lot of trash, but we ask they continue to search. (Kisha) can't have closure," he told the Daily Herald.
McLemore told the Lake County News-Sun that he believed four days of searching for Joshua was insufficient.
“We’re thanking the Zion Police Department, state attorney and everyone involved. We’re praising them,” he told the paper. “But should four days of searching be enough? The family is very depressed. We realize how much manpower they had, but they needed much more.”
Through McLemore, Summeries said she wouldn’t be holding any tributes to her son until she can have his body.
“She told me there wouldn’t be a memorial until she gets something back. A funeral home said they would donate services,” McLemore said. “She wants to give him proper burial.”