Mother of 5-month old Joshua Summeries wants search to continue
By Frank Abderholden firstname.lastname@example.org August 28, 2013 8:54PM
The Rev. Arthur DeVost of Waukegan (left), Kisha Summeries, Paul McKinley and Clyde McLemore address members of the press at the Zion landfill Wednesday, Aug. 28, calling for the search of 5-month-old Joshua Summeries to continue. | Frank Abderholden/Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 30, 2013 2:06PM
With television crews, news reporters and photographers standing out in front of the Advanced Disposal Landfill near Zion Wednesday afternoon, the mother of 5-month-old Joshua Summeries couldn’t bring herself to talk.
As Kisha Summeries left hurriedly walking along Green Bay Road, her only words were “give me my son back.”
Community organizer Clyde McLemore said she asked him to be her spokesman and he told the assembly of news people in front of the landfill entrance that the first thing he wanted to do was thank the first responders, Zion police, U.S. National Guard and everyone who was involved with searching for the missing infant for more than four full days.
“We’re thanking the Zion Police Department, State Attorney and everyone involved. We’re praising them,” he said.
“But should four days of searching be enough?” he asked. “The family is very depressed. We realize how much manpower they had, but they needed much more,” he said.
“It was one week ago today,” he said of the baby’s disappearance from Summeries apartment on Galilee where her boyfriend, Demetries Thorpe, allegedly told police he covered the baby’s mouth because he was crying. Police have video of him placing a backpack into a garbage dumpster just as a garbage truck pulled up to take it to the landfill. In his confession, he told police he placed the baby inside the backpack.
He called on Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Attorney Eric Holder and even President Barack Obama to intervene and resume the search. “We understand there’s a lot of trash. We ask they continue the search. Let volunteers go in there. She can’t get closure until she has something,” he said, adding that she did not want to come to the press conference at the landfill. “I had to almost drag her,” he said
“She told me there wouldn’t be a memorial until she gets something back. A funeral home said they would donate services,” said McLemore, “She wants to give him proper burial.”
He also said a lot of people have been judging her, but she’s been cleared by the state’s attorney’s office.
When Zion Police Chief Wayne Brooks announced the search was called off he said in statement that the search took “a physical and emotional toll on even the most seasoned professionals.”
Brooks added that the Green Bay Road landfill receives around 1,700 tons of trash per day, and authorities “launched an exhaustive and daunting search” of an area that was thought to hold the specific refuse that suspect Demetries Thorpe allegedly told police he placed the baby in early Wednesday.
“Police were aided at the landfill search by multiple law enforcement officers, nationally recognized and specially trained cadaver search dogs, and volunteer members of the Illinois and Wisconsin National Guard,” Brooks said. “The compacted refuse could only be moved and spread out by heavy equipment and operators provided by Advance Disposal throughout the search.
“Personnel using rakes and their hands then tediously sifted through the refuse. This same painstaking search method continued for more than four full days, until the area where Joshua was thought to be had been completely and meticulously cleared.