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Prosecutor: Bloomington mom seen disposing of baby items before infant is reported missing

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Bloomington Police
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Bloomington Police are asking anyone who spoke to or had contact with 7-month-old Zaraz Walker, or the child's mother, Kimberlee Burton, since December 2021 to contact Sgt. Detective Bierbaum at (309) 434-2807 or jbierbaum@cityblm.org.

The mother of a missing baby told relatives the child died after falling asleep between her legs. That’s according to McLean County prosecutor Brad Rigdon, who spoke during a bond hearing Friday for Kimberlee Burton.

Police in Bloomington are still looking for the body of 7-month-old Zaraz Walker, last reliably seen by a neighbor on Jan. 26. The infant was reported missing Feb. 12 after the father of two of Burton’s other children called police to tell them he could not find the baby.

Burton had been arrested for retail theft at the Walmart on Market Street. Relatives learned two of her four children were home alone and went to retrieve the kids.

“When the grandmother arrived, the door was unlocked, the house appeared dirty, and the children were hungry, cold, and not wearing shoes or underwear,” Rigdon told the court.

Initially, Burton denied to jail personnel that she had any children, according to Rigdon. But she told relatives during a jail visit that she did not call anyone, or take the baby to the hospital after Walker died because she “didn’t want to deal with nobody,” said Rigdon.

Jail video visits indicated Burton told relatives she left the baby’s body outside in the cemetery near the house (Evergreen Cemetery). Searchers found no body in the area.

Neighbors told investigators they saw Burton disposing of infant items such as a baby bed or crib and a car seat in a dumpster the week before Zaraz Walker was reported missing.

The public defender’s office has petitioned to determine Burton’s fitness to stand trial.

Burton is being held on $250,000 bond on a Class 4 felony charge of concealment of a death. She also faces misdemeanor retail theft and child endangerment counts, the latter related to leaving her 5- and 6-year-old children alone. The fourth child lives elsewhere and has been determined to be safe.

Burton is scheduled for arraignment on March 18.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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