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Two questioned after anonymous text led police to boys’ bodies in field

Chicago Police on the scene Sunday night in the 13100 block of South Rhodes Avenue, where two teens were found shot to death. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Detectives on Monday questioned two people in the shooting deaths of two teenage boys whose bodies were found in a Far South Side field over the weekend.

The people questioned were later released without being charged, police said Tuesday morning.

The mother of the one of the boys received an anonymous text message on Sunday that led police to a wooded area near 131st and Rhodes where their bodies were located late Sunday night, CPD Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio said Monday at news conference held at police headquarters to discuss weekend violence.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified one of the boys as 17-year-old Darnelle Flowers, of Roseland.

The mother of 16-year-old Raysuan Turner told a Chicago Sun-Times reporter that her son was the other victim. She declined to comment further Monday afternoon.

Both teens were found shortly before midnight Sunday near 131st Street and South Rhodes Avenue, Chicago police and the medical examiner’s office said.

They were pronounced dead at the scene, which is about a block from Golden Gate Park, according to authorities. It was not immediately known when they were shot, but autopsies performed Monday found both were shot several times and their deaths were ruled homicides.

Both boys had been reported missing by their mothers within the previous 48 hours, Riccio said.

The police department issued a missing person alert for Turner less than eight hours before he was found.

He was last seen Friday in the 10100 block of South Indiana. Police said he frequented the area around Palmer Park at 111th and Indiana, as well as Golden Gate Park.

Flowers, who went by “Bibby,” was also last seen on Friday in the 11300 block of South Stewart, police said. His missing person alert was issued just minutes after Turner’s.

Flowers also frequented the area around 111th and Indiana, as well as the Altgeld Gardens public housing projects — just blocks from where he and Turner were found.

Flowers had been arrested by Chicago Police seven times before his death on charges related to weapons, carjacking and battery. He was previously held at the Cook County juvenile detention center and was a documented gang member, a police source said.

His most recent arrest occurred in March.

Turner had no criminal history.

Some possessions were missing from the boys, suggesting to police one possible motive could have been robbery.

“There’s a couple different things going around,” Riccio said. “We haven’t ruled out the potential for robbery as one of the motives.”

Antiviolence activist Andrew Holmes said it was Turner’s mother who received the message detailing exactly where he son was. Riccio said she was with Area South detectives when she received it, though it was the detectives who ultimately discovered the bodies.

Holmes said Turner’s mother was receiving anonymous messages “off and on” in the hours before the two teens were found.

“It was coming from someone who knew exactly where those bodies were,” Holmes said. “It was probably just somebody who wanted to speak out and be anonymous. That was very helpful.”

Another five people were killed and 52 others were hurt in shootings across Chicago over the weekend.

Contributing: Carlos Ballesteros