The girl's mother was at work when the sexual assault occurred early Sunday morning in the 2500-block of East 72nd Street, police said. An alert was issued in the community and officials are asking South Shore residents to report anything suspicious.
"I think it is a shame and I blame the mother because somebody knew when she was gonna be home and not be home. So she should look at people who knew," David Smith, neighbor, said.
Police say the girl was sleeping when a man climbed into in her second floor apartment. A resident of the building said it's not easy to get into the complex. He also said surveillance cameras apparently were not working.
"I have a 5-year-old daughter and I'm a little upset that someone can get this close with all this supposed-to-be security," A.J. Tate said.
"I am just so sad for the family and the little girl," Elizabeth Manley, resident, said. "It's a terrible thing."
The offender is described as a white or white Hispanic male, 6' tall, thin build. He has a mustache.
"It's a scary situation that someone is still on the loose that's capable of molesting a 9-year-old child," one resident said.
"I love South Shore," Susan Motley said of her neighborhood. "It makes me sad that people will have a bad impression but there is nothing worse that someone hurting a child. . . I am glad that there are people in the neighborhood that will keep their eyes open. We do not want crime in our neighborhood."
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is also investigating.