Police, DCFS investigating after 8-year-old found dead in South Side home

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police and the Department of Children and Family Services are investigating after an 8-year-old girl was found dead in a home on Chicago's South Side.

Police said that a call came in around 8:35 p.m. Wednesday that a child had committed suicide in the 9200-block of South LaSalle Street. Cherish Foster was rushed to Comer Children's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Cherish's grandfather, Todd Evans, said his pregnant daughter had just moved to Chicago from Florida with her three children.

"I don't know what happened, but I'll find out," Evans said. "I ain't been in the house. I ain't talk to no one yet. But I'll find out."

He said he does not believe his 8-year-old granddaughter would hang herself, and that foul play must be involved.

"My mother-in-law called me and told me to meet her at the hospital. And I told her I'm not buying it," Evans said.

Neighbors say the girl's family moved into the home about a month ago and they had seen the girl around.

"She was just a normal kid, playing with the other little kids," said Ayyanna Abdullah, a neighbor.

"She seemed fine, I mean, when I saw her, she was just a happy kid. They all played together," said Ronald Earnest, a neighbor.

Chicago police are investigating the girl's death and DCFS is investigating the mother for allegations of abuse and neglect.

As DCFS continues its investigation into Cherish's mother, her two other children are now in the care of a relative.

On Thursday night, the community walked together and said a prayer for police in front of concerned neighbors. Some aren't so sure the 8-year-old committed suicide.

"It's questionable," said Nadyne Griffin, a community beat leader who said the little girl's passing marks the third death investigation in the neighborhood within a year.

"What we need is people to be involved. Come on board. No one person can do it all," Griffin said.

The little girl's family was not at Thursday night's rally.

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