Search For Missing Toddler Ends Shockingly And Tragically

A stunning case has come to light out of Joliet Township, Illinois. An 18-month-old girl had gone missing in the neighborhood, and the search would come to an end in shocking fashion. As the Independent Journal Review shares, the child would be found dead inside of her own home.

Reports that the girl had gone missing led to a frantic search by police and neighborhood volunteers. The search would come up empty, and the cops would ask to enter the family’s home the next day. They were curiously rebuffed by the family’s attorney, who denied entrance unless they could produce a warrant. After some haggling, the cops would enter to make a stunning discovery. The child’s body was found underneath a couch.

“All indications at that time pointed that the child was outside and wandered off. We actually had witnesses that described Semaj walking down the street, and actually described the clothing she was in. At that point, we thought she wandered off and we really didn’t know what we had at that point,” said Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Richard Ackerson.

While no cause of death has been determined, the child’s death is being labeled as suspicious. The family has been on the radar of the local Department of Child and Family Services - to the tune of 16 visits since last year.

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

It remains unclear why the family’s attorney attempted to block the cops from entering the home.

Source: Independent Journal Review
Photos: Will County Sheriff's Office

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