A 26-year-old man charged Saturday with murder in the disappearance of his girlfriend's 5-month-old son put his hand over the baby's mouth while the boy was crying and then threw the infant's body into a trash bin in Zion last week, prosecutors said.
Demetries Thorpe was ordered held on $5 million bond Saturday on a first-degree murder charge. During his bond hearing, prosecutors said he was captured on video throwing a backpack containing the body of Joshua Summeries into a bin in an alley behind his Zion residence in the 2300 block of Galilee Avenue.
The infant was reported missing at about 8 a.m. Wednesday, triggering a massive search involving 200 police officers and emergency workers. On Friday, workers used construction equipment to pick through garbage at a 330-acre landfill facility on Green Bay Road in Zion, general manager Jim Lewis said. The search for the child's body continued Saturday, officials said.
Thorpe allegedly told the boy's mother that someone had reached in a window and taken the baby, Lake County prosecutors said in bond court Saturday. When questioned further, Thorpe ran off, prosecutors said.
He was picked up by police about 6 p.m. Wednesday. At that time, he told police that he had put his hand over the mouth of the crying boy and that the child stopped breathing, authorities said.
Thorpe told police he put the child's body in a backpack, which he put in a garbage can in an alley behind the building, authorities said.
Thorpe was again captured on surveillance video as he retrieved the backpack from the garbage can and took it to a large metal trash bin, authorities said. He then watched a garbage truck empty the bin, they said.
Police tracked down the driver of the garbage truck, who directed officers to the landfill.
At a Saturday morning news conference, Round Lake police Chief George Filenko described the search as "worse than (looking for) a needle in a haystack." Filenko is commander of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, which is leading the investigation.
Outside the news conference, Beverly Mull, of Zion, organized about a dozen people who prayed that the body of Joshua, who was born March 13, would be found.
"I just want peace for the mother and for our community," Mull said. "We are all here to help each other."