Police Rule Out Possibilities in Johnson Death

Police Rule Out Possibilities in Johnson Death

PEORIA - An investigation continues in the death of an eight-year-old Peoria boy, but new information may shed light on what could have happened.
PEORIA - An investigation continues in the death of an eight-year-old Peoria boy, but new information may shed light on what could have happened.
"Until we can pin this down, nothing is off the table," said Cpt. Michael Eddlemon of the Peoria Police Department.
There are still a lot of questions concerning the death of Marquail Johnson, 8.  
But Friday – a day after his body was found in a refrigerator near his home on Western Avenue - police are eliminating some possibilities.
"No signs of trauma, no signs of a struggle, no sign of strangulation,” Eddlemon said. “So we're able to remove all of that, which is good to this point."
Autopsy reports revealed Johnson died of suffocation, but why he was in the refrigerator is unclear. A six-year-old cousin says he last saw Johnson with an older white male, hours before he was reported missing Wednesday night.
"We're not ready to completely discount that yet. But what presents itself right with the investigation is there is no sign of struggle. No sign of strangulation. The placement of the refrigerator being the back of a relative’s house, literally the back door,” Eddlemon said. “Taking that into account does that really match up with a stranger abduction pulling a child down an alley? And then returning the child at the time?"
No other witnesses say they saw a suspicious man. However authorities say Johnson was playing ‘hide and seek’ with other kids sometime during the day. Still, police say they are not ready to rule everything out just yet. 
"Because we're going to see how Marquail got in that refrigerator. Was he playing with other children and they were playing hide and seek? Or was if by some other means?” said Eddlemon.  
Police are unsure how long the investigation will take. They are examining surveillance video in the area.
Family members believe someone is responsible for Johnson’s death.
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