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updated: 3/17/2014 1:45 PM

DNA evidence approved for man accused of killing Zion toddler

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  • Demetries Thorpe

      Demetries Thorpe

 
 

A Lake County judge ruled a DNA swab will be taken from a Zion man accused of suffocating the 5-month-old son of his girlfriend last August.

Demetries Thorpe, 27, remains held in Lake County jail in lieu of $5 million bail after being charged with first-degree murder and accused of suffocating Joshua Summeries in the apartment he shared with the child and his mother.

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Thorpe faces life in prison if found guilty of the death when the case goes to trial in June.

Authorities requested the DNA swab of Thorpe in court Monday because they said stains found in the apartment in the 23000 block of Galilee Avenue during the police investigation missing must be separated by investigators.

The DNA swab is allowed under Illinois Supreme Court guidelines, Assistant State's Attorney Fred Day said in court.

Thorpe confessed to police that he suffocated, then disposed of the child in a Dumpster on Aug. 21, after the child would not stop fussing, authorities said.

Thorpe initially told authorities the child had been kidnapped. Later, during two days of interviews with police, he admitted to suffocating the child.

Police said Thorpe put his hands over the boy's face for 10 to 15 seconds in an attempt to stop the toddler from crying. After the child died, police said, he placed the child's remains in a backpack, dropped it out of a window, then discarded it into a garbage can in a nearby alley, authorities said.

About an hour later, authorities said, Thorpe returned to the garbage can, removed the backpack, and took it to a Dumpster where a garbage truck was nearby. He placed the backpack inside the Dumpster, authorities said, then waited for a garbage truck to empty the Dumpster.

Authorities said they have surveillance footage of Thorpe placing the backpack in the Dumpster, but have been unable to find the backpack at the landfill at 7021 Green Bay Road in Zion despite a two-day search using 50 officers and highly-trained police cadaver dogs.

Thorpe's arrest came after the boy's mother reported the child and Thorpe missing Aug. 21. More than 200 local, state and federal law enforcement personnel helped in the initial search for the missing baby.

Both sides are due back in court April 4 for another hearing. The trial is scheduled for June 2.

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