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Semaj Crosby, 16 mos, found dead in her home

Discussion in 'Crimes' started by noZme, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    The video NoZme posted above!
    MULDER, spike, noZme and 1 other person like this.
  2. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    Uno2Much, Kimster, spike and 2 others like this.
  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Well no wonder they couldn't find her in her own home.
    Kimster, spike, noZme and 1 other person like this.

    MULDER Bronze Member

    So sad.
    I cant image being that small and have to constantly try and manoeuvre and navigate through all that mess every single day, without being overwhelmed.
    For some children their entire life is an obstacle course full of barriers and challenges they don't deserve.
    Uno2Much, Kimster, spike and 2 others like this.
  5. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    Info here that is new to me & some repeats

    hearing Tuesday to determine where to place the deceased girl's three older brothers, Judge Paula Gomora said that in previous visits to the home caseworkers missed obvious signs of trouble. "What did they do to help the family and to help these children?" Gomora asked, incredulously. "Quite honestly, from what I saw, I don't know how any caseworker could've walked into that house and let those children stay."

    sheriff's spokeswoman said DCFS had contact with the family 16 times since last year

    Semaj's mother remained quiet and showed no emotion
    throughout the hearing Tuesday

    DCFS had contracted with the private child welfare agency Children's Home + Aid to provide services to the family after the state agency determined in the earlier investigations that protective custody was not necessary

    "If there were reasonable efforts (by caseworkers), those children would've been removed a long time ago," Gomora said. She pointed to documents from the county's land use department, noting the house had been deemed uninhabitable because of a broken stove. The inspector's report also included eight other citations for general conditions of the home. Gomora also pointed to other court documents noting there were roaches "crawling up the walls" and bedbugs in the home.

    The judge appeared disgusted, and she demanded access to child welfare records to better explain what happened.
    "That didn't happen in a couple of days," Gomora said of the squalor. "That was a long-standing problem."

    Gomora placed the oldest of the three children, a 10-year-old boy, with his biological father, who lives in Joliet. She said the mother will be allowed supervised visits at the discretion of DCFS.

    The mother's 2-year-old son, whose father lives in Springfield and was not in court Tuesday, was taken into DCFS custody and placed in shelter care

    A third child, who has the same father as Semaj, remains in the hospital. The 8-year-old boy was hospitalized for unknown reasons prior to his sister's death and also was placed in shelter care. The child's father, James Crosby, was in jail at the time of Semaj's death

    Family members, including two of the three fathers involved in the case, were present at the hearing but declined to comment


    10 years, 4 kids, 3 dads, one in jail. government assistance supporting family, DFCS knows they are living in squalor & have family & strangers bumming in at the house. How many violations does it take to get something done? How many more helpless children are living in similar, deplorable conditions? What are we going to do about it?

    Why did Semaj die & who hid her little body under the couch? Why would mom not allow the house to be searched for her missing baby for a day & a half?
  6. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member



    3:20 p.m. Tuesday: Semaj and her brothers are seen at home by Department of Children and Family Services personnel. The girl is later seen by neighbors playing with other children in the front yard.

    4:30 p.m. Tuesday: Semaj cannot be found, and the family begins searching

    5:45 p.m. Tuesday: Semaj’s mother, Sheri Gordon, calls 911 to report her missing. Will County Sheriff’s deputies arrive and quickly search the house, then begin searching the neighborhood.

    Tuesday night: Additional emergency personnel join the search, which continues throughout the night and includes tracking dogs and a helicopter. Semaj’s family is interviewed by investigators.

    Wednesday morning: The FBI joins investigation. Family is interviewed again.
    Gordon initially speaks with investigators but stops after consulting with an attorney. Dozens of volunteers search nearby fields while divers are sent to examine retention ponds.

    Wednesday afternoon: Sheriff’s police describe the family as “cooperative” with detectives and say it appears the girl wandered away.

    11 p.m. Wednesday: After discussion with Gordon’s attorney, police are allowed to search her residence.

    Midnight Thursday: Semaj’s body is discovered inside the house.

    10 a.m. Thursday: An autopsy is conducted. death is listed as “suspicious.”

    2 p.m. Thursday: coroner’s office says further study is needed to determine how the child died.

    6 p.m. Thursday: After two days of limited access, LE reopens streets near the scene and removes police tape surrounding the Crosby house.
  7. guess who

    guess who Bronze Member

    If they had contact with the family 16 times in one year, why weren't there guidelines being put in place in order to keep the children in this house? LIke the judge said, this didn't happen overnight. I understand people being overwhelmed and things getting out of hand, but if DCFS was in their life, why wasn't this being addressed to make sure progress was being made?
    Uno2Much, spike, MULDER and 2 others like this.
  8. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Uno2Much, spike, noZme and 1 other person like this.
  9. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    more craziness in this story

    Home where Semaj Crosby found dead burns to ground

    East Joliet Fire Chief Robert Scholtes said arson was “most likely” the cause of the fire, although it remained under investigation. The Illinois Fire Marshal’s office is also investigating.


    Uno2Much, spike, MULDER and 2 others like this.
  10. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    Disturbing questions linger in Joliet-area toddler's death


    Disturbing questions about whether warning signs were missed and what more might have been done by the Department of Children and Family Services, as well as other public agencies whose employees were in and out of the home in Semaj's final months, remain unanswered.

    Detectives reviewed "a portion of the lab tests" Thursday, but they declined to make public whether that shed any light on how the girl died.

    Semaj's mother, Sheri Gordon, lived in the small rental in the 300 block of Louis Road in Joliet Township for at least a year, according to authorities. They said it wasn't clear who was in the home when Semaj died. In fact, as one sheriff's official put it, as many as 15 squatters would "come and go as they please."

    Among those living there was a convicted felon who served two stints in prison for aggravated battery and was on probation at the time for a 2016 attack on an ex-girlfriend, the Tribune has learned through interviews and public records. Will County probation officials had been to the home some 40 times in the past year or more to check on the man, probation authorities confirmed. Police took him into custody hours before Semaj's body was found for various probation violations, including that the probation officers smelled marijuana in the home during one visit and that he was under DCFS investigation for a complaint unrelated to Semaj.

    Police took him into custody hours before Semaj's body was found for various probation violations, including that the probation officers smelled marijuana in the home during one visit and that he was under DCFS investigation for a complaint unrelated to Semaj.

    DCFS has been working with Gordon since September after receiving repeated hotline calls alleging neglect.The agency deemed four of the investigations unfounded, meaning they did not find credible evidence of neglect, but two probes that began in March remained open. In fact, a DCFS investigator was at the home just three hours before Gordon, 32, reported Semaj missing.

    About 3:20 p.m. April 25, the investigator saw Semaj and two of her three older brothers and found "no obvious safety concerns or hazards at the time," an agency spokeswoman said. The third sibling was not home at the time.

    Shortly after 6 p.m., Gordon called police to report her daughter missing. (more at link)

    Sheri Gordon was given so much assistance by public & charity agencies, gov agencies were aware of neglect & circumstances in that home & still, this happened. The "fancy" funeral is a little late to help this baby. Makes me ill.
    Uno2Much, spike, MULDER and 2 others like this.
  11. TripleA

    TripleA Zoo Keeper

    Preventable and tragic. I hope that the other three children grow up in better places and that Semaj's death will have at least one positive outcome. That sweet baby girl deserved so much better.
    Uno2Much, spike, MULDER and 3 others like this.
  12. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Hiding evidence? :eek:
    spike, MULDER and Jay like this.
  13. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member


    DCFS boss: ‘Systemic failures’ preceded death of Semaj Crosby

    The head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Saturday conceded major problems with the handling of the Semaj Crosby case, but said, based on what he saw and reviewed, neither Semaj nor her siblings should’ve been removed from the home.

    George Sheldon’s comments came a day after the agency released a 22-page report on the family’s history. DCFS opened 11 child endangerment investigations into the family in the year before the toddler was found dead under a couch.


    New report details how DCFS failed Semaj Crosby

    Semaj’s paternal grandmother, aunt and her two children lived in the same 864-square-foot home as Semaj, her three siblings and her mother, Sheri Gordon.

    Also living in the home, records show, was Semaj’s aunt’s boyfriend, a man on parole for domestic violence. He lived there for a year, but left the home after the 3-year-old’s mother found bruising and vaginal swelling. DCFS named him “the alleged perpetrator.” DCFS interviewed the physician, who noted there was no sign of sexual penetration, though the child had “grab marks” on her legs as well as other bruises, welts and abrasions.

    That investigation was one of 11 initiated by DCFS into the family in the 12 months before Semaj’s death.

    Uno2Much, spike, MULDER and 2 others like this.
  14. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Seriously, we tried to help the mother, because she was slow. She was unable to take up that help. Cos she was slow.
  15. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Uno2Much, noZme, spike and 1 other person like this.
  16. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    On Semaj Crosby's 2nd birthday, a call for 'new eyes' in case of baby found dead under family's couch

    Family and friends gathered Thursday to remember Semaj Crosby on what would've been her second, and her golden, birthday.

    It was a bittersweet celebration to remember the Joliet Township girl who was found dead under her family's couch in late April. Children played with balloons and enjoyed cake Thursday evening as family members sang "Happy Birthday" and blew out two candles in Semaj's honor.

    No arrests have been made in Semaj's death or in connection with the fire.

    Will County Sheriff's investigators, however, have identified four women and a minor child who were at the home the day Semaj went missing as "persons of interest." Darlene Crosby, her daughter, Lakerisha, and Semaj's mother, Sheri Gordon, are among the four women considered "persons of interest" by authorities.

    Sheriff's authorities said the investigation continues and remains a top priority.

    "Whatever happened to Semaj is just a horrible, horrible act," Will County Sheriff Lt. Dan Jungles said. "We want the person who did this to this child held accountable. That's the bottom line."

    Uno2Much and spike like this.
  17. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Semaj Crosby's grandmother: 'Someone knows what happened'

    More than five months after 17-month-old Semaj Crosby was found dead underneath a couch in her Joliet Township home, two women identified by authorities as persons of interest in the investigation spoke out in an attempt to clear their names and bring attention to the case.

    “I want to see justice for Semaj, and (to me) justice is an arrest and conviction," Darlene Crosby, Semaj’s grandmother, told reporters gathered Tuesday at New Generation Harvest Church in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood. "If Will County did all they can do and their back is against the wall, I would ask for outside help no matter where it comes from.

    "Someone,” she added, “knows what happened."

    Also speaking at the news conference was family friend Tamika Robinson. Semaj’s mother, Sheri Gordon, who police have said is another person of interest in the investigation, was not present. Her lawyer later released a statement saying she maintains her innocence in her daughter’s death.

    Kimster, Uno2Much and spike like this.
  18. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    One year later, still no arrests in death of toddler Semaj Crosby

    A year after 16-month-old Semaj Crosby was found dead under a couch in a squalid home in Joliet Township, no arrests have been made in her death.

    Will County authorities say the toddler’s death — ruled a homicide by asphyxiation — remains a high priority, though little progress has been made in recent months.

    That’s because the five persons of interest in the case — the child’s mother, grandmother, aunt and two other people — all retained attorneys before the toddler’s body was even found, according to police.

    “Once she was located, when the hard questions started coming, people started not wanting to talk to us,” said Will County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Dan Jungles. “When we started asking the more difficult questions, they basically ended the conversation.”

    Neil Patel, the attorney for Semaj’s mother, Sheri Gordon, previously told the Chicago Sun-Times: “Our concern right now is bringing to justice the people that did this horrible thing.”

    MORE: https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/one-year-later-still-no-arrests-in-death-of-toddler-semaj-crosby/
    spike, Paradise and Uno2Much like this.
  19. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Semaj Crosby's father sues her mother and nonprofit agency, alleging negligence in child's 2017 death

    The father of a Joliet Township toddler found dead last year under a couch in her mother’s home has sued a state social service contractor and the child’s mother, claiming their negligence led to her death.

    In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, James Crosby alleges staff from the Children’s Home & Aid Society of Illinois failed to take steps to remove his daughter, 17-month-old Semaj Crosby, from the home of Sheri Gordon despite finding the child and her siblings living in filth the day before Gordon reported her missing on April 25, 2017.

    The lawsuit alleges that, following a report to the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services in September 2016, the agency assigned the Children’s Home & Aid Society to continue to monitor Gordon and the children, according to a copy of the complaint.

    On April 24, 2017, a staff member from the nonprofit visited the home in the 300 block of Louis Road in unincorporated Joliet Township and “observed or should have observed the home in an unsafe, unsanitary condition with bedbugs, roaches, vermin and which presented a clear safety hazard for any child within the home,” according to a copy of the complaint.

    The lawsuit claims Children’s Home & Aid Society failed to provide proper training to its staff, failed to identify and report hazardous conditions in the home, and failed to initiate the process to remove Semaj from the home, thereby contributing to her death.

    The lawsuit also names Gordon as a defendant and claims that her lack of proper supervision over Semaj and the child’s exposure to “unsafe and unsanitary living conditions” led to her death.

    In May, James Crosby filed a separate lawsuit in Will County seeking to obtain custody of the other children he had with Gordon. The case is still pending, according to court records.

    Uno2Much and Paradise like this.
  20. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Who killed Semaj Crosby? Still no answers two years after toddler’s death

    The investigation into the death of Semaj Crosby is older than the child ever lived to be.

    The 17-month-old girl from unincorporated Joliet Township was found dead under a couch in her family’s filthy home on April 26, 2017. Her death was ruled a homicide by asphyxia.

    Semaj’s family had frequent contact with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and an agency contractor was at the home just hours before she was reported missing by her family. The fallout from her case led to a shakeup within DCFS, with the former director conceding that “clearly mistakes were made.”

    In the two years since her death, there have been no arrests. However, investigators in Will County have repeatedly said the toddler’s mother, Sheri Gordon, and other relatives — who were living in the 864-square-foot home in violation of Gordon’s public housing voucher — are considered suspects.

    “This isn’t the case of the boogeyman,” said Dan Jungles, deputy chief of the Will County Sheriff’s Office. “This isn’t the case of a stranger. This is the case of someone who was supposed to love this child that is ultimately responsible for her death.”

    The home burned down less than two weeks after Semaj was found, and authorities believe the fire was set intentionally. Two years later, a tree on the patchy lawn near where the home once stood was adorned with ribbons, pinwheels and stuffed animals.

    Two years after Semaj’s death, the investigation remains front-of-mind for the Will County Sheriff’s Office.

    “This is a case that’s worked on every day,” Jungles said, adding that the primary detective “has never stopped or wavered in his quest to seek the ultimate truth as to what happened.”

    Jungles conceded, though, that the very nature of the crime — the murder of a toddler in her home — weighs heavily on investigators.

    “This is one of the worst kinds of crimes that we could investigate,” Jungles said. “Anyone who snuffs out the life of a child is a monster.”


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