A heartbreaking end to search for missing 16-month-old

Semaj Crosby, the 16-month-old missing daughter of Sheri Gordon, was found dead in Joliet Township, Illinois, early Thursday, NBC News reported.

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The girl was reported missing by her mother, Tuesday evening after the toddler was reportedly left outside playing with her cousins. A search party went out and Semaj’s body was found in a house near the center of the search area.

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After the police located the body of the young girl, the Department of Child and Family services launched an investigation into the case concerning possible neglect by the mother. DCFS was reported to have had contact with the family in six prior cases of neglect, according to NBC.

While four of the six neglect cases were ruled unfounded and two were prior pending investigations opened in March. As a result, DCFS was already in touch with the family and, hours before Semaji’s disappearance, a DCFS investigator was at the family’s house.

The caseworker reported there was nothing in the home to endanger the child and Veronica Resa, deputy director of communications for DCFS, confirmed.

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“There were no obvious hazards or safety concerns at that time. DCFS has been working with the family, offering services since September 2016,” Resa told NBC.

Authorities have recently confirmed the speculation that Semaj's body was found in her own home, according to WGN News.

NBC also confirmed that Gordon hired an attorney who reportedly helped police obtain permission to search the house in which Semaj was eventually found.

With the body found under these circumstances, an autopsy will be performed to determine the young girl’s cause of death.

Credit: Larry W. Smith

Credit: Larry W. Smith