DNA samples of child found in river sent to crime lab - KMSP-TV

DNA samples of child found in river sent to crime lab

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

DNA samples from a body found in the Des Plaines River have been sent to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab to determine whether it is that of a west suburban boy allegedly beaten to death by his mother and her boyfriend.

The body of a "young male" was pulled from the river near 31st Street and First Avenue in North Riverside on Wednesday. The body, which was partially decomposed, "bears strong similarities" to missing Maywood toddler Bryeon Hunter, Sheriff Tom Dart said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office had not identified the child as of late Thursday afternoon, and sources said the delay was because of the battered condition of the body.

Authorities took DNA samples from Bryeon Hunter's mother, Lakeshia Baker; and his grandmother, Maywood police Chief Tim Curry said. Those samples, along with DNA from the child found in the river, were sent to the crime lab on Thursday.

The body was found about 3 1/2 miles south of where Baker and her boyfriend, Michael Scott, were believed to have dumped the body, Curry said.

Baker, 22, and Scott, 21, are charged with the death. Both were indicted on first-degree murder charges in a Maywood courthouse Wednesday morning. Both are being held in the Cook County Jail, Scott on a $750,000 bond and Baker without bond.

Prosecutors said Baker initially told police her child had been kidnapped, prompting an Amber alert, but she later admitted to police that on April 15, Scott covered the child's mouth with his hand and held him down while she beat him with a belt.

A Wednesday autopsy was inconclusive, and the medical examiner's office said the cause and manner of death are still pending.

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