Semaj Crosby

Deplorable conditions for 1-year-old who was found dead

Semaj Crosby was found dead under a couch inside her family’s uninhabitable home

Authorities released photos on Monday of the home where a missing Illinois toddler was found deceased. The little girl, found dead on Wednesday, lived in what police are calling “deplorable conditions.”

FOX News reports that 16-month-old Semaj Crosby was found dead under the couch in a Joliet Township home off of the 300 block of Louis Road. According to Tawonna Reed, an inspector for the Will County land use department, every room in the house contained a “serious degree of filth.”

“The kitchen area of the home had several piles; on the stove was stacked food in foil pans and there was pizza boxes stacked on the table. The bedrooms had a large amount of clothing, garbage bags, discarded food containers, empty bottles in the middle of the floor and throughout the room.”

Reed also wrote that the back door of the home was difficult to open due to large piles of toys, garbage, strollers, and other items blocking it. Someone also ripped out or broke the home’s window screens and the smoke detectors weren’t working. Although the home had electricity, there was no working stove.

Last Tuesday, just a day before Semaj was found deceased, The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) visited the home. The report indicated that Semaj and the family’s two other children had “no obvious hazards or safety concerns at the time.”

On Friday, the land use department red-tagged the home and made the family move out after it was deemed as uninhabitable. The two surviving children were taken into the custody of DCFS. Rick Ackerson, the deputy chief of the sheriff’s office, said last week that anywhere from five to 15 people, including squatters, lived in the home.

Last week, the child’s mother, Sheri Gordon, told authorities that Semaj was playing outside when she disappeared. A day later, the toddler was found dead inside the family’s couch.

“She was my baby. She was my little girl. She was a good baby. She liked to play and laughing [sic],” said Gordon.

As of now, there are no suspects in the child’s death, although the manner in which she died is labeled as suspicious. The autopsy results were inconclusive, but the Will County coroner has not ruled out homicide, pending toxicology results.

[Feature Photo: Family Handout]