Teams using dogs, drones to look for missing Joliet toddler

JOLIET TOWNSHIP - Searchers scoured the Preston Heights area Wednesday for a missing 1-year-old girl.

Sources said the Department of Children and Family Services visited Semaj's home Tuesday before she disappeared.

The house is right in the center of what had been a massive search area scoured by more than 100 officers, multiple teams of bloodhounds, divers and volunteers ever since the 16-month old was reported missing by her mother, Sheri Gordon, on Tuesday evening.

The Will County Sheriff's Office says in a statement it searched the Joliet home late Wednesday along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and found Semaj Crosby dead around midnight.

The corner said the final cause and manner of the girl's death will be determined later. At approximately 12 A.M. the body of Semaj Crosby was located within the residence, " said Ackerson. They say her mother last say the toddler in the front yard of their home in Joliet Township, a community about 40 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.

The sheriff's office says the search was conducted "with the assistance of an attorney the family had obtained", but didn't immediately say whose home it was. Investigators said the family had been cooperative with the search. The officials saw Semaj and the woman's other two children.

Ackerson said nothing investigators had learned indicates that the girl did not wander off on her own.




The Will County Coronor's office pronounced Semaj dead shortly after.

"I just want her home with mommy".

Authorities said they had no reason to believe there was foul play involved in her disappearance, hoping that the girl had simply laid down and fell asleep somewhere until the sun came up.

The case is considered to be a missing child case and Semaj's family is fully cooperating with detectives, Ackerman said.

Ackerson said police would search until late Wednesday night.

Semaj was reported missing to police about 6 p.m. Tuesday.

A DCFS caseworker was on the scene Wednesday.

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