Update: Will County Sheriffs investigating fire at Semaj Crosby home

5/7/2017, 9:44 a.m. | Updated on 5/7/2017, 9:38 a.m.
Semaj Crosby was reported missing late Tuesday from the Preston Heights neighborhood in Joliet Township.
Semaj ML Crosby Will Co Sheriff's office

“However, no one individual has been ruled out as a suspect. Every angle of this tragic incident is being actively examined,” the statement reads.

Update: 11:48 a.m.

Will County Sheriffs are waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death of 18-month old Semaj Crosby who was found dead in her home in Joliet Township early Thursday morning.

Deputy Chief Richard Ackerson said that his office was investigating the case as a “suspicious death” during a Thursday morning press conference in downtown Joliet.

“The investigation has shifted,” said Ackerson from a missing person case.

“We’re going to try to find out why this ended in such a tragic way,” he said.

Police, the FBI and other volunteers spent much of the night Tuesday and most of Wednesday searching for the missing toddler. The search included the use of bloodhounds, infrared equipped helicopters and a dive team.

Ackerson said that officers who responded to the call around 6 p.m. Tuesday did an initial search of the home but reliable witnesses reported seeing the child outside. Ackerson confirmed that the home was visited by someone from the Department of Children and Family Services around 4 on Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday morning, he said officers wanted to start over with another search of the family’s home at 309 Louis Rd. but were denied consent from the mother on the advice of her lawyer. Ackerson said that his office wasn’t able to show probable cause to get a search warrant because all indications at the time were that the child had wandered off.

The mother’s attorney late Tuesday convinced her to give consent to search the home which Ackerson said was in “a very deplorable condition.” Ackerson said that anywhere from 5-15 people were living in the home some of whom were described as squatters.

So far, no person of interest has been named and there is no suspect in custody.

Ackerson said that an autopsy report would be available later on Thursday.



The body of a 1-year old girl who was reported missing on Tuesday was found early Thursday morning following a search of her home in Joliet Township.

Will County Sheriffs deputies began a search of the home at 309 Louis Rd. around 11 p.m. after getting consent from the family of the missing girl.

“At approximately 12:00AM the deceased body of Semaj Crosby was located inside the residence,” reads the statement.

The county coroner’s office pronounced Semaj Crosby dead and will conduct an autopsy for Thursday to determine the cause of death.

The investigation is still ongoing and a press conference is scheduled for late Thursday morning.

The Will County Sheriff’s office continued its search on Wednesday for a 1-year old girl who was reported missing late Tuesday.

According to a statement, Semaj ML Crosby had been wearing a grey long-sleeve shirt emblazoned with a cat face, dark blue jeans, and no shoes when she was last seen. Her hair was done in ponytails with white beads.

Semaj was last seen in the area of Luana and Richards Street in the Preston Heights neighborhood in Joliet Township.

Anyone with information about her whereabouts are asked to contact the Will County Sheriff's Office at 815-727-8575 or 911.

Deputies deployed multiple teams of bloodhounds, detectives and patrolmen to continue the search through Tuesday night. Sheriffs also used a Cook County helicopter equipped with infrared/heat spotting capabilities with no success.

Sheriffs are requesting residents to avoid the search area unless they live in the neighborhood to allow first responders to continue their search.