Updated: November 16, 2016
CHICAGO (AP) - An Illinois man has been ordered held without bond in the death of a 2-year-old boy whose dismembered remains were found in a Chicago lagoon. Cook County prosecutors say 41-year-old Kamel Harris of Rockford appeared in court Wednesday. He faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Kyrian Knox of Rockford.
Updated: November 15, 2016
UPDATE: CHICAGO (WIFR) -- One of the last people to see Kyrian Knox alive is now being charged with his murder. The Chicago Police Department is describing the suspect as a barbaric monster.
23 News spoke with Kyrian's grandmother, Cameshia Harris, who said she knew from the start Kamel Harris was behind the gruesome murder of her grandson.
On the one year anniversary of the memorial service for Kyrian Knox, the toddler's grandmother says she is now crying tears of joy instead of tears of sorrow as justice comes for her grandson who was brutally murdered.
41-year-old Kamel Harris of Rockford has been charged with first degree murder in the death of two-year-old Kyrian Knox. Chicago Police say the toddler was found dead in a Chicago lagoon on September 5, 2015. The 2-year-old was initially reported missing in Rockford on September 17th before DNA evidence confirmed the remains found in the lagoon were that of Kyrian Knox. Police say Harris was entrusted with Kyrian Knox's care while the boy's mother was moving to Iowa.
A break in the nearly 14-month investigation comes as Chicago Police say details were revealed only the killer would have known. Investigators say the case moved further when when Kamel Harris denied that the toddler had ever been inside his vehicle. Investigators say that was found that to be false when Kyrian Knox's blood was found in Harris' vehicle. As far a motive, Chicago Police say Kyrian, who was lactose intolerant, was given milk while in Harris' care. According to third party witnesses, the boy wouldn't stop crying and he quote "just snapped." 23 News spoke with Kyrian's grandmother about the arrest.
"He's just going to get his day in court. He's charged with first degree murder and I'm just happy for that. He's going to get convicted and there's nothing he can do. There's no turning, he can't run from it anymore. No more running, he can't run anymore. No more lies. Man up and tell the truth," says Cameshia Harris.
Kamel Harris is charged with one felony count of first degree murder, concealment of homicidal death and one felony count of dismembering a human body.
He is expected to appear in court tomorrow. Cameshia says although she won't be able to make it, several family members plan on being there.
Updated: November 15, 2016
UPDATE: CHICAGO (WIFR) -- Detectives with the Chicago Police Department have made an arrest in the murder and decapitation of 2-year-old Kyrian Knox.
In a press conference, investigators say Kamel Harris was arrested after blood evidence was found in his car. Harris has been charged with felony first degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death, and dismembering a human body. Chicago Police say based on third party statements, a possible motive for the child's death may have been that Kyrian Knox, who reportedly had a lactose allergy, ingested some milk and was crying all afternoon.
Chicago Police say the toddler was found dead in a Chicago lagoon on September 5, 2015. The toddler was initially reported missing in Rockford on September 17th before DNA evidence confirmed the remains found in the lagoon were that of Kyrian Knox.
Updated: November 19, 2015
UPDATE: CHICAGO (WIFR) -- The two people who police say were the last to see Kyrian Knox, 2, alive in Rockford before his body was found in a Chicago lagoon are not cooperating with detectives.
"I wasn't right there looking at the people, I was just told like everybody else," Danyelle Foggs explained.
Foggs did that interview with 23 News two weeks ago as she declared her innocence in Knox's death. According to Chicago Police Foggs and her former boyfriend Kamel Harris aren't saying anything.
"It is extremely frustrating because they are critical to the investigation," Dean Andrews, Chief of Detectives for the Chicago Police Department, said.
Foggs and Harris were watching Kyrian when they say a man and woman who had permission from Kyrian's mom, picked the boy up and took him away.
Foggs and Harris talked with Rockford Police. Now detectives in Chicago want to do the same. Investigators say the two are not suspects, but could help lead them to the person who dismembered the boy and left his body parts in a Chicago lagoon.
"We've tried numerous times to contact them, we know where they are, they're just not cooperating and it's extremely frustrating," Andrews said.
"They're evading questioning because they're guilty and that’s the only reason they won't go in and cooperate with the authorities.
Justice is going to be served," Cameshia Harris, Knox’s grandmother, said.
Investigators believe Harris is in the Milwaukee area and Foggs is in the Chicago area.
Foggs phone number has been disconnected since we talked to her a few weeks ago. We spoke with Harris' daughter. She said he's not in Milwaukee, but isn't sure of his whereabouts.
Updated: November 19, 2015
UPDATE: CHICAGO (AP) -- Frustrated Chicago police say two witnesses aren't cooperating with their investigation into the death of a 2-year-old northern Illinois boy whose dismembered remains were found in a Chicago lagoon.
Police said they held a news conference on Thursday morning to exert pressure on family friends 40-year-old Kamel Harris and 34-year-old Danyelle Foggs to share what they know. Police say Harris and Foggs were entrusted with Kyrian Knox's care while the boy's mother was moving to Iowa.
Authorities say numerous attempts to contact Harris and Foggs have failed. Officials say they believe the boy went missing in mid-August but wasn't reported missing until Sept. 17.
Kyrian's remains were found Sept. 5 in the Garfield Park lagoon on Chicago's West Side. The body parts were identified as the boy on Nov. 4.
Updated: November 19, 2015
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Chicago Police are urging the two Rockford people who may have been the last two people to see Kyrian Knox alive to cooperate.
Investigators say they've been unable to contact the two people who were caring for Kyrian Knox before his disappearance.
Detectives with Chicago Police say the 2-year-old was dropped off with Kamel Harris and Harris’ live-in girlfriend, Danyelle Foggs in Rockford in August. Police say Harris is the father of a friend of Kyrian’s mother, Lanisha Knox. A short time later, Kyrian Knox disappeared. In early November, officials confirmed that the dismembered body found in a Chicago lagoon in September was the toddler who had previously been reported missing in Rockford.
Kamel Harris is believed to be in the Milwaukee area. Danyelle Foggs is believed to be in the Chicagoland area. Police say they are witnesses and are crucial to the investigation into the two year old's death.
Police are asking for the public’s help so police are able to make contact with Harris and Foggs.
Updated: November 11, 2015
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Chicago Police say detectives have identified a person of interested wanted for questioning in the disappearance of Kyrian Knox, the 2-year-old reported missing in Rockford and whose remains were later identified as those found in a Chicago lagoon.
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the person of interest is a man who is "somehow connected to the Rockford area." Guglielmi says there is currently no warrant out for the man's arrest.
No other information was available. We will continue to update you as we learn more.
Updated: November 6, 2015
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The woman being blamed for the death of 2-year-old Kyrian Knox says the story we’re being told by the little boy’s family, simply isn’t true.
Danyelle Foggs says she did nothing wrong in the case involving Knox, the toddler who was found dead in a Chicago Lagoon in September and was just identified through DNA. Foggs says Kyrian’s mother Lanisha dropped the little boy off at Fogg’s boyfriend Kamel Harris’ house, saying she had nowhere to take him. Foggs says she believes Lanisha had two people come and get the toddler and that’s when he went missing.
“And she stated in the first interview that she left her child in the care of a family friend. Then it went from a family friend to a best friend. Now, it’s supposedly me. I did not know what Knox looked like. She did not speak with me , she did not ask where Kyrian was. She did not leave him in my care,” says Foggs.
Rockford and Chicago Police are working together on the investigation into 2-year-old Kyrian Knox’s death.
Updated: November 5, 2015
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – As the focus shifts from the search for the toddler to the search for how he died, Kyrian Knox's family is blaming the last two people they say was seen with their son: Kamel Harris and Danyelle Foggs.
The family is calling the two heartless.
Lanisha Knox, Kyrian's mother, says she dropped her son off with Shakela Harris, Kamel's daughter, because of day care problems in Chicago.
The family says police told them that Harris and Foggs left the toddler with two people, whose names were made up.
They also say Shakela knew about Kyrian's disappearance, but did not report it to police.
At this point, Rockford Police is no longer involved in the investigation because their missing persons case is closed.
"We continue just as we've been since September when we took the missing person report dealing with the Chicago Police Department and Cook County State's Attorney's Office and sharing information, assisting Chicago police and interviewing people here in Rockford," said Rockford Police Assistant Deputy Chief Pat Hoey.
Kyrian was reported missing on September 17th after having been last seen in mid August by his mother.
On September 5th, the remains of a dismembered toddler were discovered in a lagoon at Garfield Park on Chicago's west side.
Chicago Police confirmed on Wednesday that the DNA from the lagoon matched Kyrian and they say all agencies will continue to work together to find out how the toddler was killed.
"We're going to find out exactly how Kyrian died," said Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. "If this was a murder, we'll be holding people accountable and we'll be working with the Rockford PD to do so whether that takes place here in Chicago or up in Rockford. We'll find out where he was killed and then that appropriate jurisdiction whether it's Rockford or Chicago will handle the homicide investigation that may follow."
Rockford Police will now set up a meeting with the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office to review the case so they can understand the investigation and determine if any action needs to be taken.
Updated: November 4, 2015
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Chicago Police say the toddler found dead in a Chicago lagoon is in fact Kyrian Knox, the 2-year-old boy who went missing in Rockford in early August.
Chicago Police tell us DNA evidence matches the little boy. Police say the investigation is ongoing. Kyrian's mother, Lanisha Knox, told us during a recent Skype interview that she left her son with a family friend before the toddler went missing. Lanisha lives out of the area.
In September, the remains of a dismembered toddler were discovered in a lagoon at Garfield Park on the Chicago's west side.
We will continue to update you on this developing story as we learn more.
Updated: October 3, 2015
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- With two year-old Kyrian Knox having been missing for over a month, a Chicago family, dozens strong, made a trip to the Stateline hoping to find answers.
"I can't give up hope on my grandbaby,” Kyrian’s grandmother Cameshia Harris said. “I love him too much I can't give up."
Flyers with information Kyrian hope to bring closure to a group praying for some kind of breakthrough. Hundreds of the flyers are now circulating through the neighborhood around College and Seminary, just south of downtown Rockford. It's the area where Kyrian used to play and is said to have last been seen with the family friend who was caring for the toddler.
"Somebody is going to listen and going to pay attention to all of the pictures," Harris said. “Somebody is going to step up and say they saw something or heard something because at this point anything can help the police."
She now organizes bus trips from Chicago every weekend with concerned and confused family members to help find Kyrian.
"We let the police do their job but now it's time to do ours," Kyrian’s cousin Alan Martin said.
"He's my light at the end of the tunnel and I have tunnel vision because I know I'm going to find him," Kyrian’s Mom Lanisha Knox said. "As a mom you can tell (Kyrian’s alive). You would be able to know otherwise and I haven't had that feeling yet. I'm sad because he's gone but I'm passed that because now I'm mad and just need him to come home."
Anyone with information about what happened to Kyrian should call Rockford Police or Crime Stoppers.
Updated: October 2, 2015
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It's been more than a month since a 2-year-old boy with Rockford ties went missing, but Kyrian Knox's family says they're not giving up hope.
A bus-load of family and friends of Kyrian Knox are coming to Rockford on Saturday and they're asking all of us to join in on the search.
The 2-year-old was living in Rockford with a family friend when he went missing, police believe in late August.
About 20 family members were in Rockford last weekend, handing out flyers at the intersection of College and Seminary, the area Kyrian was living before he disappeared.
The boy's grandmother, Cameshia Harris says she believes her grandson is still alive.
"That little baby is the sweetest thing that God has ever put in my life. I never knew that I could love something like I love this little baby. That little baby, he is everything to me. He's everything to this family," says Harris.
The search party expects to arrive in Rockford at the Mobil gas station and the coroner of Seminary and College at 1:00 Saturday afternoon.
They'll be handing out flyers and searching the area until about 5 tomorrow.
The family is asking anyone who is free tomorrow to come help in their efforts to find Kyrian Knox.
Updated: September 30, 2015
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The mother of a missing 2-year-old says she will return to the Stateline this weekend to search for her child.
Rockford Police say they are looking into leads daily and have not found any to be credible. Officers say Kyrian Knox has been likely missing for months after his mother Lanisha dropped him to a family friend in Rockford. Lanisha lives out of the area and will return to Rockford on Saturday in search of information.
Updated: September 23, 2015
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Police say 2-year-old Kyrian Knox, the boy reported missing less than a week ago, may have gone missing more than a month ago.
Chicago police are now involved with the investigation and are taking DNA evidence from family members. Police say Kyrian was last seen in Rockford with a family friend. Police say it is not clear that last time Kyrian was seen but it is believed to be in mid-August. Rockford Police say any connection to a gruesome case in Chicago is merely speculation at this point.
His mother Lanisha says he was being watched for several weeks by her best friend's father. Lanisha says she was told that he handed her son off to someone who claimed to have permission from Lanisha. She also says she was given the impression that her son was doing okay.
Lanisha tells 23 News that she was planning on moving to Rockford to be with her son.
Rockford Police are working with several regional and national law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, which has offered resources to assist in the investigation.
Kyrian is described as a black 2-year-old boy, around 30 inches tall, 35 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information to the disappearance of Kyrian is asked to call Rockford Police at 815-987-5824 or Crime Stoppers at 815-963-7867.
Updated: September 22, 2015
ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Rockford Police plan to address the media for the first time since a toddler was reported missing on Thursday.
A media briefing surrounding the disappearance of Kyrian Knox will be held at 11:30 on Wednesday.
Chicago Police are now involved in the investigation, collecting DNA evidence from the boy’s family. 2-year-old Kyrian Knox’s disappearance was reported last Thursday after police say he was last seen in Rockford with a family friend.
Knox’s mother Lanisha says he was being watched for several weeks by her best friend’s father. Lanisha says she was told that man handed her son off to someone who claimed to have permission from Lanisha to allow the exchange. We had a chance to speak with Lanisha via Apple FaceTime late Monday evening.
“Ever since Thursday, we have been trying to figure out who could have come and got him,” said Lanisha Knox.
“When is the last time you talked to your son?” asked 23 News Anchor Whitney Martin.
“His disappearance was reported Thursday, but that’s not how long he’s been gone. And since my son is a 2-year-old we put the phone to his ear, he won’t say anything. So we talked to her dad everyday up until September 6th and at that point his 2-year-old son had broke his phone so contact was a little off,” said Knox.
“So the last time you heard of the well-being of your son was September 6? What do you think happened?” – WM
“I really don’t know. It’s in the air, trying to figure it out,” says Knox.
We will let you know as soon as anything develops.
Updated: September 21, 2015
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Rockford Police are continuing their search for a missing toddler.
Police were called Thursday about 2-year-old Kyrian Knox being missing, but are not saying much because they say it's still an active investigation.
Police say they do not believe Kyrian was abducted which is one of the primary guidelines for an Amber Alert to be issued. They say they believe Kyrian was with a family friend before he disappeared.
Kyrian is a black 2-year-old boy with short black hair, brown eyes, about 30” tall, and around 35 pounds.
Anyone with information should call Rockford Police at 815-987-5824 or Crime Stoppers at 815-963-7867.
Posted: September 20, 2015
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rockford Police are searching for a missing boy.
On Thursday, September 17, 2015, officers from the Rockford Police Department responded to a call for a missing 2-year-old boy, Kyrian Knox. The exact date and time Kyrian was last seen is not clear at this point. It is believed Kyrian was in the care of a family friend, prior to his disappearance.
Rockford Police, in conjunction with several partner agencies, began an investigation regarding the disappearance of Kyrian. The boy is black, approximately 30 inches, 35 pounds, has low cut black hair and brown eyes.
The Rockford Police urges the public to contact the Rockford Police Department at (815)987-5824 or Crime Stoppers at (815)963-7867 with any pertinent information.
This is an ongoing investigation. No additional information is being released at this time.