Toddler Found Dead in Home with 'Deplorable Conditions'

Toddler Found Dead in Home with 'Deplorable Conditions'
Posted at 10:30 AM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 10:30:00-04

JOLIET TOWNSHIP, IL (WLS/CNN) - A judge is ripping the agency that had contact with Semaj Crosby, the 1-year-old found dead in her home last week, and her siblings several times before her death.

"The house was in very deplorable conditions, yes," said Will County Sheriff's Department Deputy Chief Rick Ackerson.

The house was filthy, investigators said Thursday: roaches crawling on the walls, bed bugs infesting couches and beds, according to court records.

Hours before the 1-year-old vanished, investigators had said Illinois Department of Children and Family Services visited the home.

"DCFS was at the residence, and they left at approximately 4 o'clock p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, Ackerson said. "Reportedly, Semaj was still alive and playing in the front yard at the time."

The Chicago Tribune reported Judge Paula Gomora asked Tuesday during a hearing about what caseworkers did to help the family and the children.

"From what I saw, I don't know how any caseworker could've walked into that house and let those children stay," Gomora said.

It was Semaj's mother, Sheri Gordon, who reported her missing. Nearly a week after she disappeared, the death remains unsolved.

Gordon, who lives at the home, thanked people for their help and support during this time.

"We don't know anything, all we can do is go by hearsay - 'He said, she said,'" said Tarra Sanders, a member of the family. "We don't know, but God knows."

Investigators have called Semaj's death suspicious and said toxicology tests should reveal more on how she died.

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