After an investigation by the Chicago Tribune, a source close to the investigation surrounding the boy’s death told the paper the child’s name is Atcel, and that authorities had actually identified the boy over two years ago after they discovered a DNA match but declined to make the information public.
The Tribune obtained a document from the U.S. Justice Department that shed more light on the investigation, which contained a statement by Atcel’s 14-year-old sister. The young teen told investigators that she had been continuously abused by her stepfather, often kicking her with steel toed boots and whipping her with a belt “almost every other day.”
She also claimed that when Atcel went missing, she was told by her grandmother that her stepfather had killed him “and dumped him” in a laundry bag. A body of a young boy stuffed in a laundry bag was found on October 8, 2005, by a man walking his dog.
Sources reportedly say that the stepfather escaped to Mexico City with Atcel and the girl’s mother, who is also wanted for questioning. Neither have yet been charged with Atcel’s murder, and the cause of the boy’s death remains unknown due to the badly decomposed condition in which the body was found. He was buried as “Johnny Doe” just over two years after he was discovered, at a public funeral attended by approximately 150 people.