CHICAGO -- Down a short path-- not 30 feet from the parking lot of the Beaubien Woods forest preserve —two people spotted smoke coming from a wooded area near the Calumet River and called for help Sunday night.
The Chicago Fire Department arrived and made a gruesome discovery: the body of a man, bound at the wrists, and set on fire, officials said.
Cheryl Johnson lives in the nearby Altgeld Gardens housing complex, less than a mile from the woods. She has heard about bodies dumped at this forest preserve over the years, and most of the time, she says, the victims aren't from around there.
“I can guarantee it happened somewhere else; someone dumped the body out here. It will be a total surprise if it is someone from this neighborhood,” Johnson said.
In 2000 a dog walker found the remains of Traci Todd, a South Loop resident and United Airlines flight attendant, in the same woods. Her boyfriend was eventually found guilty of murder.
Those who live near the forest preserve hope police are able to find who’s responsible for this latest crime.
“I would hope they would find the person that is behind all of this,” said Altged Gardens resident Lamar Herron. “There's a lot of killing and violence and it needs to stop.”
Officials said they would have to use dental records and other forensic evidence to identify the victim.