Chicago police Monday tried to determine the identity of a child whose head was fished out of the Garfield Park Lagoon, the Chicago Tribune reported. A foot and hand were found in the same area.
Someone reported a human foot floating in the lagoon late Saturday afternoon, and authorities said the foot was determined to be the left foot of a toddler, likely 2 to 4 years of age. The gender has yet to be determined. Police later found the child’s other foot and both hands about 25 yards away at the other end of the lagoon, along with a 20 pound weight. The limbs were in an advanced state of decomposition and were not clothed, authorities said, the Chicago Tribune reported. The head was recovered Sunday.
Police blocked off the lagoon and closed an additional area roughly 75 to 100 feet beyond the crime scene. A mobile command center was set up on the eastern edge of the water.
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Garfield Park, which is a 184-acre park on Chicago's West Side, has served as a sanctuary for the lower-income community, residents said, the Associated Press reported. The park contains a murky lagoon that attracts urban fisherman and boaters, a swimming pool, baseball and football fields and a glass conservatory featuring exotic plants.
"People come to this park because there are never shenanigans here," said Ricky Smith, 54, who lives in the area, the AP reported.
The park is not perfect though; body parts have been found in the park in the past, said Perry Starks, a member of the Garfield Park Advisory Council, the Chicago Tribune reported. He said overall the park is a great place, but people sometimes linger in unlit areas to sell or buy drugs, engage in sex acts or sleep for the night.
"Garfield Park is the jewel of the West Side, and for someone to bring this type of nonsense to this park is unfortunate,” Alderman Jason Ervin said, the Chicago Tribune reported.