UPDATED 02/21/12 11:51 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Questions abound Tuesday morning after a 16-year-old developmentally disabled boy fell to his death down a trash chute in a Gold Coast high-rise.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, Charlie Manley apparently fell 46 stories down a garbage chute in the high-rise condo building at 1555 N. Astor St., just across the street from the Cardinal’s Residence.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
Manley’s body was found around 11:15 p.m. Monday, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. While earlier reports had said he was 17, police said he was 16 years old.
Manley was autistic and also had Down syndrome, and lived with his family in the penthouse on the 46th and 47th floors of the building, the Sun-Times Media Wire reported.
One neighbor calls him a fun, lovable kid who was always friendly with residents in the high-rise.
“You don’t find a better Charlie,” said Tommy Bernstein, choking up has he spoke. “I am so upset.”
Bernstein often saw Manley around the building.
“He was always up, and everyone loved him – ‘Charlie, hi Charlie,’ on the elevator, and he always had had a smile,” Bernstein said.
Manley’s family first discovered he was missing when an alarm system at their home indicated a door was ajar, the Sun-Times Media Wire reported.
The family called police, and Manley was eventually found inside the building’s trash compactor. Police believe he fell down the garbage chute 46 floors.
On Monday night, people gathered inside the lobby, all shaken up by the tragic ending.
“It’s a catastrophe, I think,” Bernstein said.
Manley was the youngest child in the family.
“He just was always a good kid; a good boy,” Bernstein said.
Belmont Area police detectives are treating the mishap as a death investigation, and they say it appears to have been an accident. An autopsy is scheduled for later Tuesday.
The boy’s family had no comment.