CHICAGO — An Illinois jury acquitted a man accused of killing a 2-year-old boy, dismembering his body and dumping his remains in Chicago’s Garfield Park Lagoon.
Kamel Harris, 44, was found not guilty on Thursday in the gruesome 2015 death of 2-year-old Kyrian Knox.
In August 2015, Kyrian’s mother had given the boy to Harris, the father of a friend, for a couple of weeks while she and a friend tried to find jobs in Iowa in hopes of moving there, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Harris took the stand in his own defense Wednesday and said he gave Kyrian to three people after speaking by phone to a woman he believed to be the boy’s mother.
The toddler’s body was found weeks later in the lagoon after someone saw a foot floating in the water.
Harris’ attorney repeatedly said there was no forensic evidence tying his client to the crime.
The boy’s mother, Lanisha Knox, wailed in the courtroom after hearing the jury’s verdict, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. After leaving the building, Knox reportedly said, “That was some (expletive). I can’t believe this.”
“This is an innocent man,” Assistant Public Defender Kulmeet Galhotra told the paper. “The guy who did this is still out there.”
Harris is expected to be released from custody soon.