Zion police end landfill hunt without finding baby

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT

ZION – Police in the northern Chicago suburb of Zion ended their search of a landfill without finding the remains of a missing 5-month-old boy who they believe was smothered by his mother’s boyfriend, placed inside a backpack and tossed into a trash bin.

The Zion Police Department posted an update on Facebook late Sunday, saying the searchers – some using cadaver dogs – had done “everything humanly possible” to recover the body of Joshua Summeries. They spent four days combing through tons of trash with rakes and by hand.

Demetries Thorpe, 26, was charged Saturday with first-degree murder and ordered held on $5 million bond in the infant’s death.

Prosecutors said Thorpe admitted to smothering the infant by placing his hand over the baby’s mouth when the child was crying, then placing his body in a backpack. Authorities said they have surveillance video of Thorpe putting a backpack in a trash bin.

Hundreds of people joined the search for the boy after his mother reported him missing Wednesday. At one point, authorities used divers to check waterways and asked residents to check their trash cans.

Police said the landfill receives about 1,700 tons of trash daily, and they searched the area where it was believed the truck containing the backpack would have emptied its load.

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