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Zion man charged with missing baby's death

Published: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 11:29 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 12:12 p.m. CDT

ZION – Police in northern Illinois combed through a landfill on Saturday as they continued searching for the body of a 5-month-old boy whose mother's boyfriend was charged with murder in his death.

Demetries Thorpe, 26, was charged Saturday with first-degree murder and ordered held on $5 million bond in the death of Joshua Summeries. Authorities accuse Thorpe of placing his hand over the baby's mouth when the child was crying and causing him to stop breathing.

Police say Thorpe placed the boy's body in a backpack and prosecutors say they have surveillance video of him putting the bag in a trash bin.

Joshua's mother reported him missing on Wednesday and since then hundreds have been searching for the infant in the northern Chicago suburb of Zion. Police said the mother was cooperating with the investigation.

"To say a needle in a haystack, it's even worse than that," Zion Police Chief Wayne Brooks said, describing the scene at the Advanced Disposal Landfill. "We're going to pull out all the stops and do everything humanly possible to keep that search going."

Officials said they had narrowed their search to a section of the landfill that was 30 yards by 30 yards. It was 8 feet deep in places. Brooks said the FBI gave his department advice on how to search the landfill.

Earlier in the week, police stopped garbage collection and asked residents to go through their trash for evidence. Authorities turned their attention to the landfill on Friday.

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