Rally held to demand answers in Semaj Crosby's death

JOLIET TOWNSHIP, Ill. (WLS) -- A rally was held in southwest surburban Joliet Thursday afternoon to demand answers in the death of Semaj Crosby, the 16-month-old girl found dead in her home in April.

Her death led to hearing on how the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services handled its investigation into the case before she died.

"Somebody knows something," said Tarra Sanders, Crosby's cousin.

Sanders said she wants answers in the death of her cousin. She and many others at the rally are part of a group they called the Justice for Semaj Action Team. That group is calling on police and prosecutors to file charges in Crosby's death.

Crosby went missing in late April. After a 30 hour search, investigators found her body under a couch inside the home. The coroner has yet to issue a finding as to the cause of death. No one has been charged.

Relatives said four adults were inside the home, including Crosby's mother, grandmother, aunt and a friend. A DCFS investigator had visited the home on the day she died.

So far, police have been unable to determine what happened.

"Four adults in one house with a little baby, nobody knows nothing? She didn't get under the couch by herself," said Sanders.

Semaj and her family moved into the home in the 300-block of Louis about one year ago, according to the sheriff's office, though since her biological parents did not live together, it was not known exactly how much time the toddler spent in the home.

The sheriff's office previously said the child was discovered dead in the home on April 26. However, 911 logs show the sheriff's office was called to the home at 6:30 p.m. the day before for a "suspicious" death.

Authorities with DCFS had been at the home less than three hours before she vanished to investigate a previous neglect allegation. The investigators saw "no obvious hazards or safety concerns" for the little girl or her two brothers before they left, officials have said.

Photos released by the Will County Department of Land Use appeared to support the characterization that the home was in "deplorable" condition when the child was found dead inside.

"The entire structure appeared unsanitary because of the heavily soiled carpets, walls, garbage and contains a serious degree of filth," an inspector noted in her report.

The inspector went on to describe the back door and electrical panel blocked by "strollers, black garbage bags, toys, clothing and containers."

The home was deemed "unfit for human occupancy."

The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report.
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