Autopsy: 3-year-old Riley Fox drowned

June 6, 2004 (WILMINTON, Ill.) Riley disappeared from her home over the weekend. Her body was found Sunday in the woods by hikers.

"This little girl was taken and killed and you know, we don't know who did it. And that's the scary thing," said Sheila Rodgers, neighbor.

The toddler's father, Kevin Rodgers, reported Riley missing Sunday morning. He said he found the front door of his house open and Riley, whom he left asleep with her 7-year-old brother, Tyler, gone. Within hours, Wilmington police and more than 500 volunteers helped search for the girl. Hikers found her body, still dressed in the clothing she wore Saturday, in the heavily wooded creek bed.

The Will County coroner has not said if the girl was sexually assaulted.

"I just pray that God is with the family and will help them through all this," said Gwen Smith, neighbor.

Officials will not go on record discussing a possible link to the abduction and murder of a Streator child more than a year ago but a sheriff's spokesman discounted a possible "mass murderer" on the loose in Will County. About 15 months ago, eight-year-old Dalton Mesarchik was taken from his front yard and found bludgeoned to death near a river. The two murders have residents in the communities located just southwest of Chicago concerned.

" I've lived here my whole life and there has never been an abduction ever and we don't have too many murders either. So you know, it scares us. Last night I made my daughter sleep with me," said Rodgers.

Copyright © 2024 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.