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Missing Toddler Found Dead in Joliet Home

A missing girl who vanished Tuesday evening from her far southwest suburban home was found dead late Wednesday in Joliet.

The Will County sheriff’s office and the FBI executed a search warrant about 11 p.m. Wednesday at a home in the 300 block of Louis Road in Joliet and found Semaj Crosby dead about midnight, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday to determine the cause of her death.

The 1-year-old girl was last seen about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, playing with between six and eight other children outside her home near Luana Road and Richards Street in unincorporated Joliet, according to the sheriff’s office.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services officials had been at the home at 3:20 p.m. Tuesday, investigating a previous allegation of neglect against the girl’s mother, according to a statement from the agency. They saw all three of the mother’s children — including Semaj — and saw no obvious hazards or safety concerns, officials said.

Detectives interviewed the girl’s family twice, and they have been “fully corporative,” according to Will County sheriff’s office Deputy Chief Richard Ackerman, who noted that police had previously been called to their home a few times, most recently for a “domestic situation” on Easter Sunday. No arrests were made in that incident.

DCFS has been working with the family since September 2016, with four unfounded investigations for neglect, and two other pending investigations for neglect opened in March 2017, agency officials said.

Authorities searched the family’s home for the young girl and scoured the area of the Preston Heights subdivision with bloodhounds and a helicopter. More than a hundred volunteers joined the search Wednesday, and a dive team searched a pond in the Sugar Creek subdivision. The search was suspended late Wednesday.

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