A 16-month-old has been found dead inside a home just 30 hours after vanishing from her suburban Chicago yard.
Toddler Semaj Crosby’s mother, Sheri Gordon, reported her missing on Tuesday at about 6.30pm — only a few hours after being visited by the Department of Child and Family Services.
At the time, Gordon told authorities that her daughter had wandered away from the yard where she had been playing with her cousins, prompting an extensive search of the area that involved more than 100 cops, multiple bloodhounds, divers and volunteer searchers, NBC 5 reported.
Thirty hours after her disappearance, Crosby’s body was found by police in a house at the center of what had been the search area in Joliet Township, Illinois.
The Will County Sheriff’s Office stated that Gordon’s attorney — who she’d hired during the day — helped authorities obtain consent to search the house at around 11 p.m. on Wednesday, an hour before Crosby’s body was found inside.
According to WGNTV, Crosby was found in the same home that she lived in with Gordon.
On the day she was reported missing, NBC 5 said that Gordon and family members were seen going in and out of the house.
The Department of Child and Family Services said Wednesday that Gordon was being investigated on an allegation of neglect.
‘We have had prior contact with this family including four unfounded investigations for neglect and two prior pending investigation[s] for neglect opened in March 2017,’ DCFS spokesperson Veronica Resa said in a statement, according to CBS Chicago.
‘DCFS had been at the home on April 25 at approximately 3:20 p.m. and had seen all three of the mother’s children including Semaj. There were no obvious hazards or safety concerns at that time.’
Resa also stated that the DCFS had been working with Gordon and her children since September 2016.
Crosby’s autopsy is scheduled for today, to determine the cause of her death.