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Chicago teen was burned alive in garbage can, cops say

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(Luka Lajst/Getty Images)

(Luka Lajst/Getty Images)

A 15-year-old Chicago boy was burned alive inside a garbage can last month, cops in the city say.

Demetrius Griffin Jr.’s body was found burned beyond recognition in an alley Sept. 17, according to ABC news channel 7. On Monday, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide, saying the boy was burned alive.

Griffin was a freshman at Steinmetz College Prep and was described as a gentle, respectful kid with a close relationship to his parents. He always followed curfew, so when he didn’t come home on the night of Sept. 16 his family knew something was wrong.

An autopsy showed Griffin died of thermal injuries, which means he was alive when the fire started inside the trash can.

At a vigil for the victim, family friend Ashake Banks said, “These are not TV monsters, video game monsters. They’re like the devil. They’re out of control. They don’t care and don’t respect human life.”

A $7,500 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

“Community, I need your help. They killed my baby out here in this alley. I need somebody. If you know something, please come forward. They took my life,” Griffin’s mother, Polly Sykes, told ABC news channel 7. “I’m sick without my son. I’m just, I’m sick.”

Police continue to investigate.