Boy found dead in refrigerator

Published 08/15 2013 08:36PM

Updated 08/19 2013 01:29PM

PEORIA -- An autistic 8-year old who went missing Wednesday night was found dead Thursday morning. Police say Marquell Johnson disappeared sometime after 7 pm.

Officers and family members searched for him all night, and an Amber Alert was issued. His body was found in a refrigerator in the backyard of a nearby home.

Johnson's family is in shock. His cousin, Nikki Green said he was an ideal kid.

"He didn't need punishment, because he did what he supposed to do. He tried to keep other kids out of trouble. He was a helper. That's what my auntie called him. A helper. He was God's helper."
Police say there is no visible sign of injury. They hope an autopsy will provide more details about his death. Witnesses say Johnson was last seen with an older white man.

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