Baby found dead under pile of trash in Englewood home

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A 9-month-old baby was found dead in the bastment of a home in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. (WLS)

A 9-month-old was found dead in the basement of a home on Chicago's South Side Tuesday night, after firefighters extinguished flames at the abandoned house.

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire in the 1400-block of West Marquette Road in the city's Englewood neighborhood around 9:30 p.m.

After the fire was put out, crews searched the home and discovered the infant's body. Sources told ABC Eyewitness News the child was found under a pile of trash.

Abdullah Muhailin, who lives across the street, said when a vehicle from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office pulled up, he realized the investigation was about more than just a house fire.

"I saw the white van pull up and go in and come out. I guess the body was so small... I would say I didn't see the white sheet," Muhailin said.

Investigators are working to determine how and when the baby died. The cause of the fire is also under investigation. An unconfirmed report said gasoline may have been poured on the basement floor and lit on fire.

Three people were taken in for questioning Tuesday night. Police have not said how they may be related to the infant. Muhailin said one of the three was caught in a nearby gangway.

"They surrounded the house and they apprehended a young man between the two houses," Muhailin said.

Others who live on the block, including Bobby Bishop, said they are not surprised a body was discovered inside the empty home. Bishop said houses like this have become havens for criminals and he wants the city to take action.

"These abandoned houses, ain't nobody working on them. Ain't nobody doing anything to them. Come and tear them down. Do something," Bishop said.

Bishop said he has called his alderman on several occasions to get all the homes boarded up. ABC7 has reached out to the alderman for comment.
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