Body found in Marquette Park lagoon was 14-year-old boy - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Mother of boy, 14, found dead in Marquette Park lagoon: `I feel broken`

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Julius Campbell (Chicago Police) Julius Campbell (Chicago Police)
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The mother of a 14-year-old boy found stabbed to death in a Marquette Park lagoon this month said her son may have been bullied by gang members at his Southwest Side high school.

Christina Campbell said she last spoke to her son, Julius Campbell, about 7:30 a.m. March 7 as he ate cereal and they discussed his lost Gage Park High School identification.

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Julius made it to school that day, but left after his third period Army Reserve Officers Training Corps class, his mother said. Julius never returned home and her mother filed a missing person report with Chicago Police the next day.

She hung missing person flyers throughout the neighborhood and talked to his friends and neighbors, she said. The mother of one of his friends told her gang members were bullying Julius at school and somebody may have shot at him — the bullets missing him — the day before he went missing.

"I feel terrible," Christina Campbell said at the family home in the 5900 block of South Artesian. "Like he was calling out for me. I feel lost. I feel broken."

A neighborhood boy told Christina Campbell he saw Julius walking with two men March 10 near South California Avenue and West 61st Street, she said. The boy related Julius was wearing faded black Levi jeans, a black hooded sweatshirt and Air Force One shoes — the same clothes he was wearing the day he went missing.

Christina Campbell said that was the last time anybody told her they saw her son.

His body was found the morning of April 12 inside a Marquette Park lagoon near the 6700 block of South Kedzie Avenue, police said. Investigators initially believed the unidentified body to be that of a man in his 20s.

Last Wednesday, two detectives knocked on Christina Campbell's door, asked her other children to leave the room and said the body found in the lagoon was her son, she said. Police did not know how long he had been in the water and identified him through fingerprints taken when he was arrested earlier this school year for yelling at police.

An autopsy determined he died of multiple stab wounds and the death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

"He had a heart of gold," his mother said. "So willing to help anybody."

Julius had five siblings, two older and three younger, his mother said. He enjoyed playing video games, drawing and taking apart old televisions and radios.

"He really was a joy to be around," his mother said.

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