'Missing' Illinois Toddler Found Dead At Home; 16-Month-Old's Cause Of Death Listed 'Suspicious'
Will County police found the 16-month-old toddler in her own home less than two days after she was reported missing. Authorities found the toddler in her Joliet Township residence in Illinois after police conducted a second sweep for further investigation.
The toddler's family told police that they last saw Semaj Crosby in their lawn playing with other children. Per CBS News, adults reportedly worked on a car until they noticed that the child cannot be found within their sight.
Authorities conducted the search for the toddler as she continued being lost for 30 hours. Three hours before the family reported the incident, police went to the family home for a well-being check and said that Crosby and her sibling were in a safe condition.
Police and volunteers stopped the search temporarily on Wednesday due of bad weather condition. On the same day, FBI obtained a search warrant in the family's home and found the infant's body at home at 11 a.m.
Authorities said that Crosby's death was suspicious, hence, they pushed for further investigation on the child's mother. CBS Local-Chicago said that investigators ran further inquiry on Sheri Gordon, the deceased's mother, for an allegation of neglect.
The report also noted that they recently encountered Crosby a week before she allegedly wandered off and died. Deputies of Will County Sheriff conducted a well-being check during Easter Sunday and found the siblings playing in the yard with sticks.
Officers also noticed that the children did not have their Easter gifts, so they bought a few for the five children. Deputies even posted a photo of Crosby, along with four other kids, showing off their Easter gifts.
The autopsy report on Crosby's corpse noted that the child's cause of death needed further studies, NBC Chicago reported. Deputy Chief Rick Ackerson added that the child lived in a home with "deplorable conditions" and many of the people that lived there were "squatters."