The relatives of Bryeon Hunter, the one-year old Maywood boy who went missing yesterday afternoon, are fearing the worst. Law enforcement officials were seen combing the Des Plaines river today. The river search, officials said, is considered standard operating procedure. The account of the abduction told to officials by the boy’s mother, who apparently sustained injuries during the alleged abduction, may not hold up to scrutiny. Here are the CBS and Chicago Tribune stories:
Updated 04/17/13 – 4:38 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A missing one-year-old boy from Maywood was killed by somebody who was upset that the child could not be potty-trained, a source told CBS 2.
The source says the body of a child believed to be Bryeon Hunter was dumped into the Des Plaines River near Maywood. Police searched the area on Wednesday before leaving the banks of the river late Wednesday afternoon. No body was found.
Earlier, a source said the boy’s body had been recovered, but Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry later said a body has not been found.
CBS 2′s Derrick Blakley reports, for most of the day, tracker dogs combed the banks of the Des Plaines River, and emergency crews from several suburbs searched the water itself, using sonar to look for the boy’s body.
Police packed up the orange boats they were using to search the river as a thunderstorm moved in Wednesday afternoon.
Bryeon’s family had been out near the river since Wednesday morning as authorities conducted the search.
Bryeon’s grandmother, Brenda Lloyd, said, “I just want him back, that’s all. I want to know is he okay? Let me know something.”
Lloyd was anguished after hours of waiting, with Bryeon’s fate still officially unknown.
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports Curry said he is not optimistic Bryeon is alive.
Bryeon’s great uncle, Herbert Morris, said he supports the boy’s mother, and whether Bryeon is dead or alive, he just wants some resolution.
“Right now, it just, it’s in God’s hands. Whatever he say fit, so be it,” Morris said.
Bryeon has been the subject of an AMBER alert after his mother told police three Hispanic men beat her and kidnapped the child. After questioning the mother, police now believe Lakeshia Baker’s story is not true. The alert was issued on Tuesday and police cleared the three men on Wednesday morning.
Police have been questioning Baker and her boyfriend on Wednesday. No charges have yet been filed against any suspects.
Initially, Bryeon’s mother said her son was was abducted at 6th and Main in Maywood by three Hispanic men in a black, two-door sports car with tinted windows.
Bryeon was last seen wearing a blue striped long sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and blue and brown Nike boots and is described in the alert as being 2 feet tall and weighing 30 pounds.
Lakeshia Baker claimed she was beaten by the the same people who kidnapped her son. Baker’s eye was blackened, her face swollen from being kicked and punched.
She limped assisted by loved ones to the Maywood Police Department hoping to help in the search for her son on Tuesday afternoon.
Baker, who is African American, claimed the men attacked her because of her race and wanted her to move out of the neighborhood.
Sources told CBS 2 that police believe Baker’s boyfriend beat her to bolster their story that Bryeon had been kidnapped. The two have been held at Maywood’s police station for more than 20 hours, as of Wednesday afternoon.
While the search for Breyon continues, his grandmother clung to memories of the baby she nicknamed “Cabbage Patch.”
“Every time I call his name, he just looked at me and just laughed,” she said. “He’s an innocent baby. I just don’t know what’s going on.”
“Just let us know that he’s okay,” pleaded Brenda Lloyd, the grandmother of Byreon Hunter, nicknamed “Cabbage Patch” by his family. “He’s just 1. He can’t talk, he just loves to smile.”
Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry said officers began searching the Des Plaines River last night and continued through the afternoon. He said that it was standard protocol and not the result of specific information.
“We don’t have any witness information that led us to the river,” he said. “This is the usual protocol for a missing person case – it wouldn’t be the first time someone went missing and turned up in a river.”
Earlier this afternoon, Lloyd was at the Maywood Police station where her daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend were being interviewed by police.
She said her daughter told her that they were on their way to a park Tuesday afternoon when three men jumped out of a black sports car and beat her before taking Bryeon with them.
But Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry said that after interviewing the three men the boy’s mother identified as her attackers, investigators concluded her account was inaccurate. He declined to say whether authorities believe the woman lied to them.
Curry confirmed that the mother was injured during the alleged attack and abduction.
The boy is described as 2 feet tall and weighing 30 pounds, and was last seen wearing a blue striped shirt with blue jeans and brown Nike boots.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Maywood Police Department at 708-450-4471.
Tribune reporter Adam Sege contributed.
More on this story as it progresses.