1-year-old Sema'j Crosby was reported missing
Tuesday, April 25, 2017, after last being seen playing in the front yard of her family's Preston
Heights home where she lived with her mother, siblings and up to 12 other people.
After nearly a day of searching the nearby properties, parks and
retention ponds, the family of Sema'j Crosby allowed investigators to
search the family’s home.
They found Sema'j’s body under the couch in the family’s living room later that night.
After word spread through social media, a makeshift memorial grew at the corner of Louis Road and Richard Street in Joliet Township as investigators continued their analysis. Yellow tape swayed unapologetically next to a outcropping of stuffed animals, flowers and candles.
Later that night, after county officials left, friends and neighbors gathered at the now sealed home, which bore a bright orange sticker that read, “NOT APPROVED FOR OCCUPANCY.”
The day after Sema'j's body was lowered into the ground an early morning fire engulfed the Crosby home on May 6, destroying the family's home and possessions in the process. Only a stove and water heater jutted from the beige colored cinders as mourners from local churches prayed over the smoldering pile. As the day progressed, neighbors and passerby's, some still in their white 'Team Sema'j' t-shirts, passed by the home, shaking their heads trying to make sense out of a senseless series of tragedies.
No arrests have yet been made in connection with the child’s death.