No justice for Semaj Crosby 1 year after toddler's death

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On April 27, 2017, 16-month-old Semaj Crosby was discovered dead in the family's Joliet Township home not even two days after she was reported missing. (WLS)

A collection of symbols of love remain in remembrance of Semaj Crosby as a community of the grief-stricken mark the one year anniversary of her death and wait for justice.

Neighbors in the 300-block of Louis Road - where the house the toddler shared with her mother and siblings used to be before authorities say arson destroyed it the day after the girl's funeral - wonder if they'll ever be any arrests.

On April 27, 2017, the 16-month-old child was discovered dead in the family's Joliet Township home not even two days after she was reported missing. Police say the baby was probably already dead and placed underneath a heavy couch that was low to the floor when the frantic search for her began.

An autopsy by the Will County Coroner ruled the girl's death a homicide by asphyxiation. In an interview, Semaj's mother, Sheri Gordon told the Chicago Tribune, "It's been a lot...I just want justice for my daughter..."

According to Will County Sheriff's investigators, Gordon remains a "person of interest", in her daughter's death along with at least three others including the child's paternal grandmother, an aunt, and a family friend.

As Sheri Gordon maintains her innocence, her attorney declined to comment on the investigation Wednesday.

Attorney Cosmo Tedone, who represents the child's paternal grandmother and aunt, said he hasn't heard from investigators in months although his clients have cooperated with authorities. In a statement, he added, "The family is frustrated as a year approaches, you have no justice for Semaj. The last person to see her was her mother. What about her?"

As a result of Semaj's death, there have been policy changes at the Department of Children and Family Services after criticism for how it handled numerous allegations of abuse and neglect of children in the home.

The child welfare agency came under fire after it was learned a DCFS caseworker had visited the deplorably dirty home just hours before the family reported the girl missing and did nothing but scheduled a follow-up visit after telling the child's mother to cleanup.

Since then, Gordon's three other children have been removed from her care. Pending DCFS cases against Semaj's paternal grandmother and aunt has also prompted removal of their children from their care.

Those concerned wonder if there will ever be justice for Semaj.
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