Do you know this boy?
Artist sketches child whose body was found near Reagan Tollway
By Angela Rozas
Tribune staff reporter
Published October 29, 2005
The DuPage County Sheriff's office on Friday released a forensic artist's sketch showing what a 3-year-old boy, whose body was found in a wooded area near Naperville, may have looked like. Police are seeking to determine the child's identity and how he died.
(DuPage County Sheriff/Tribune photo by John Dziekan)
October 28, 2005
He was a little boy with a slight, toothy smile; large, almost pointed ears; and a halo of dark, wiry hair. His features may be East Asian or American Indian, possibly with some Hispanic heritage.
His decomposed body was found in a blue laundry bag on the side of a road in unincorporated DuPage County three weeks ago. Investigators Friday released a forensic artist's sketch of the 3- to 4-year-old boy in hopes it would help identify him.
"This sketch tells us a whole lot more," said Sheriff John Zaruba. "It tells us that this innocent child who once smiled and laughed has a face. And if he has a face, he must have a name, a family and maybe a neighbor or a friend.
"For now, we are his family, and this family is searching for answers."
Investigators have spent thousands of hours working on the case. The sheriff's department has made arrangements for a funeral, but they hope the boy's family will make contact before it is time to bury him.
The child, found Oct. 8 near Ferry and Meadow Roads, is estimated to have been about 38 1/2-inches tall and 25 to 30 pounds. He was wearing a Navy blue collarless shirt with three buttons, size 2-T, and Navy blue pants with a nylon cotton-blend shell and a white liner, size 4-T. The brand was Faded Glory, sold exclusively at Wal-Mart.
An anthropologist who looked at the remains provided the approximation of the child's ethnicity. Police don't know yet how he died or how long ago, and they have not ruled out the possibility he died naturally or in an accident. They're still waiting for some forensic reports.
For the sketch, investigators used a forensic artist because the body was decomposed. The artist, Lois Gibson, helped the sheriff's office's staff forensic artist compose the sketch, but she would not talk specifically about the case. In general, she said an artist examines either the body or photographs of the body and uses existing bone structure and the anthropologist's report to approximate what the person would have looked like.
The body was found near Naperville not far from the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway, leading investigators to believe the child could have been dropped off by someone passing through.
Jerry Nance, lead investigator at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said none of the children reported missing in Illinois seems to fit this child's profile.
His office has narrowed down a "manageable" list of missing children from around the rest of the country that may fit the profile and turned it over to the sheriff's office, he said.
But, for now, authorities are pinning their hopes on the possibility that someone will see the sketch and recognize the child.
"Please help us," Zaruba said. "This little boy can no longer speak for himself. He needs someone out there to do it for him."
Anyone with information is asked to call 800-669-7109.
Copyright 2005, Chicago Tribune