Sheri Gordon was calm at first but then grew agitated with a police dispatcher when she reported the disappearance of her daughter, Sema’j Crosby, last year, according to a 911 call released Friday.
The Will County Sheriff’s Office released audio of the call in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Gordon reportedly phoned the sheriff’s office about 5:45 p.m. April 25, 2017, when Sema’j went missing.
Sema’j later would be found dead under a coach in her Preston Heights home. Her death has remained unsolved for more than a year.
In the 911 call, Gordon told the dispatcher she could not find Crosby, and the toddler had been outside playing with other children. She estimated she last saw her child about 30 minutes before the call.
The dispatcher asked Gordon if she checked the house, her neighbors’ homes, a nearby park and school. She said she and other family members looked.
At times throughout the call, Gordon was gasping and crying.
“Listen, take a deep breath, OK,” the dispatcher said to her.
“Oh my god,” Gordon said.
Gordon told the dispatcher Sema’j was wearing a gray sweater with blue jean sweatpants and she had pigtails. She said her daughter could walk on her own and had not wandered off before. In the background of the call, a girl later identified as Gordon’s niece was crying.
After Sema’j was reported missing April 25, her body was found about midnight the next night under a couch in her home. Her death later was deemed a homicide.
The lead detective on the case, R.J. Austin of the Will County Sheriff’s Office, identified four people at the house the day Sema’j went missing: Darlene Crosby, her grandmother; Lakerisha Crosby, her aunt; Tamika Robinson, a friend of Darlene’s; and Gordon.
“One if not more of those four grown women know exactly what happened and know how she got under that couch,” Austin said.
Darlene Crosby said she believed Gordon had something to do with her death, she said Gordon was last to see the toddler and said she believed Gordon might have harmed the toddler out of spite for James Crosby, the toddler’s father and Darlene’s son.
Gordon’s attorneys have said she “continues to strongly deny ... she knew of or caused Sema’j’s death.”