The DuPage County Sheriff's office laid to rest one of their own recently. The burial was not for an officer or an employee of the office, but rather for the officer's adopted son: "Johnny Doe."
On October 8, 2005, a man walking his dog in an undeveloped plot of land at the intersection of Ferry Road and Meadow Drive in Warrenville, Illinois, made a gruesome discovery. It was the badly decomposed body of a toddler. The young boy who has been named "DuPage Johnny Doe" had been stuffed in a blue canvas laundry bag and left in a wooded area along a busy highway. His body could have laid there for days, even weeks, before it was discovered. But what authorities are trying to uncover is not only how this boy died but who he is.
With little to go on, authorities began working around the clock to identify the boy and to piece together how he died. All they knew was that the boy stood 3 feet 2.5 inches tall and weighed between 25 and 30 pounds at the time of his death. When the boy was discovered, he was wearing a collarless, short-sleeved, three-button navy blue shirt and navy blue pants. The clothing brand, Faded Glory, can only be found in Wal-Mart stores.
So, DuPage County authorities contacted an anthropologist who created a sketch of what the boy may have looked like. The anthropologist believes the boy's race is a blend of "East Asian/American Indian derived from Hispanic of Tribal Indian" ancestry. The sketch has been created and widely publicized, but so far, police have found no concrete evidence as to who the boy is or how he died.
Many of the officers who have worked the case have been personally touched by it and accepted "Johnny Doe" as their adoptive son. While they know working in law enforcement can sometimes be emotionally tough, seeing a young child who was seemingly forgotten, made this case a priority to all of them.
Officers were able to hold a graveside service for "Johnny Doe" because they have all the scientific and forensic evidence they need. "Johnny" was buried in donated clothes and the burial plot was donated by a local church. The officers decided the grave stone should read, "Son unknown, but not forgotten."
The people who left the body could have then fled via either Route 59 or I-88, both roads that head out of town in different directions.
No cause of death has been determined, the possibility of a natural or accidental death has not been ruled out, nor has homicide. Authorities are awaiting results of forensic tests to better determined the manner in which this precious child died.
Deputies say the remains were found just off the road and could have easily been left without arousing suspicion. The people who left the body could have then fled via either Route 59 or I-88, both roads that head out of town in different directions.
Police hope that as the story of a boy who was found dead and abandoned in a Chicago suburb gains national attention, that someone will come forward who knows who the boy is, someone who can maybe help solve the mystery surrounding his death. They also fear the little boy's parents may be in danger as well, and want to find answers as soon as possible.