WILL COUNTY, Ill. — After the body of a missing Illinois toddler was found last Thursday, authorities have released photos of the decrepit home where she was pronounced dead.
The Joliet Township house where 16-month-old Semaj Crosby was found dead has since been condemned. Police said the residence was in a “deplorable condition,” with between five and 15 people – described as squatters – living on and off at the residence.
In the kitchen, food in foil pans and pizza boxes were piled on a table. The back door and electrical panel were blocked by trash bags, strollers and containers.
“The entire structure appeared unsanitary,” inspector Tawonna Reed wrote in county records obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
Authorities from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services had been at
the home less than three hours before the child disappeared Tuesday. They were investigating a previous neglect allegation.
The caseworker found nothing that would endanger the child, according to WGN.
Semaj’s family reported her missing, saying she disappeared while playing outside near her home, while a relative repaired a car.
Witnesses had described seeing Semaj walking across the street in the same clothes she was wearing when she went missing, say police.
The States Attorney didn’t grant a search warrant since indications were that Semaj went missing outside.
The FBI received consent from a family attorney to search the home Crosby lived in with her mother and found her just after midnight Thursday.
Crosby’s body was discovered underneath a couch, according to investigators.
Autopsy findings on the cause of death were inconclusive “pending further studies.” Investigators are treating it as a suspicious death.
Semaj Crosby’s funeral is Friday.