Missing 16-Month-Old’s Body Found In Deplorable Home Among ‘Squatters’

Posted On : 04/27/2017

This alleged broken home might have cost a toddler her life. Although the community came together to search for the child, it was just too late.

JOLIET TOWNSHIP, ILLINOIS — Unfortunately, this story appears to be one of “neglect gone worst.”

This child, Semaj Crosby, could barely walk. The Chicago Tribune reports a close relative having mentioned that the toddler only recently learned.

So, when she went missing, they figured she couldn’t have walked — and if she did, it wasn’t far.

The living condition was pitiful…

According to ABC-7 News, Semaj lived in an 864 square-foot residence, on the 300 block of Louis Road. The source says the toddler’s mother rented the residence.

However, at any given time, there could be as many as 5 to 15 people living in the house at once.

The others aside from family, the source is calling “squatters.”

Yet since it was her mother’s place, Semaj lived there with her mom and two brothers.

Tuesday afternoon…

The Chicago Tribune said this is the same block on which she was last seen playing before her Tuesday disappearance.

Authorities reportedly gained access to the house around 11 p.m., Wednesday.

Approximately an hour after searching throughout the residence, they found her deceased body within the house.

Will County Deputy Chief Rick Ackerson couldn’t tell press officials the exact location where they found the child. The investigation is still in pending status.

However, they’re calling the child’s death “suspicious.”

At the moment…

They don’t have a cause of death. According to the source, the medical examiner needs more time on the autopsy.

The Chicago Tribune reports as follows.

“The cause of death is ‘pending further studies,’ the coroner’s office said Thursday after an autopsy. Cause will be determined ‘at a later date’ based on final toxicology and police investigation reports, and the toxicology results could take several weeks, the office said.”

Nevertheless, they’re investigating the family first — as there were signs of possible neglect. This isn’t the first time Will County authorities have come across this family.

Child services is very familiar…

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has a history with them. DCFS spokeswoman Alissandra Calderon mentions as follows.

“We have had prior contact with this family, including four unfounded investigations for neglect and two prior pending investigation for neglect opened in March 2017. DCFS has been working with the family, offering services since September 2016.”

Maybe those services went unused because — according to the source — the sheriff’s office had contacted Will County Land Use Department to cite an inspection of the property.

“Upon the conclusion of their examination they have deemed the house uninhabitable and have red-tagged it,” says the sheriff’s office.

Unfortunately, this all comes a bit too late for little Semaj.

Much of the community can’t believe she was missing, let alone found inside her mother’s residence.

Those who were part of the massive search party say — before the rescue was ceased — they were even looking throughout nearby fields hoping to find her alive.

And behold…”missing” in her own home.

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[Featured Photo via Twitter]

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