GARY | Police here have been in contact with Chicago detectives about the remains of a child found in a Chicago city park lagoon, but there appears to be no connection to the case of 2-year-old King Walker, missing along with his aunt for six weeks, according to Gary police.
Gary Police public information officer Dawn Westerfield released a brief statement to that effect Monday night, which also noted the Chicago investigation is still in its preliminary stages.
On Monday afternoon the Cook County Medical Examiner's office issued a statement that the remains found in the Garfield Park lagoon were those of an African-American child most likely between 2 and 3 years old.
Garfield Park is just north of Interstate 290 and about half a mile east of Cicero Avenue.
The medical examiner's is basing its age estimate on an examination of the head, one of the most recent body parts found after a passerby on Saturday reported seeing what appeared to be a human foot floating in the lagoon. Officers later found another decomposed foot and hand about 25 yards away.
Monday's statement did not mention the victim's gender.
But the race and age of the child's remains immediately led to questions if it might be the missing Gary toddler.
It has been just over six weeks since the 2-year-old Walker and his aunt, Diamond Bynum, 21, went missing from their home in the 500 block of Matthews Street, in Gary. Police and family members say Bynum is developmentally disabled with the mental capacity of a 5- to 7-year-old.
Police and the family of the missing child and woman have followed up on leads and possible sightings of the two in both Indiana and Illinois.
Authorities are continuing their search of the Garfield Park lagoon. The medical examiner's office says the manner of death still hasn't been determined. It says the head and the other parts were decomposed.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.