JOLIET TOWNSHIP – Funeral arrangements have been made for a 1-year-old girl whose body was discovered last week under a couch in her Joliet Township home.
A wake for Semaj Crosby has been scheduled at 9 a.m. Friday at Prayer Tower Ministries, 500 Stryker Ave. in Joliet, according to the Minor-Morris Funeral Home website. After services at the church, Semaj will be buried at Elmhurst Cemetery, 1212 E. Washington St. in Joliet.
Funeral director Terry Morris said Monday the cemetery has donated a gravesite for Semaj.
On Tuesday evening, Semaj's mother, Sheri Gordon, reported Semaj missing from their house in the 300 block of Louis Road in the Preston Heights neighborhood. Emergency personnel and volunteers conducted an intense search during the next day-and-a-half, before the girl's body was found early Thursday.
An autopsy was performed last week, but the Will County Coroner's Office said further examination is needed to determine how the girl died. Those tests are not expected to be complete until next month.
A representative of the Department of Children and Family Services was at the house about an hour before Semaj went missing. The agency opened two investigations of Gordon for allegations of neglect last month. DCFS reports stated there were no obvious hazards or safety concerns, but Will County sheriff's police described the house's condition as "deplorable," with garbage strewn throughout.
Including Gordon, her two sons and Semaj, five to 15 people were regularly living in the house, some of whom were described as “squatters” by sheriff's police.
As of Monday morning, no criminal charges had been filed in the case.