Semaj Crosby was found dead tucked inside a filthy couch in her own home after a lengthy search for the missing toddler in the Joliet Township Chicago suburb last week. Disturbing photos of the now-condemned home where the body of the 16-month-old girl was found have now gone viral and been dubbed a “house of horrors” on social media.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Semaj Crosby was found dead just 30 hours after Chicago area children’s services workers visited the home as part of a child neglect investigation. It was not the first visit to the home by child protective services workers.
Police detectives are still investigating the “suspicious death” of the Joliet Township toddler. The recently released photos of the home where Semaj Crosby lived depict both a dirty and dangerous living situation, according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times. The toddler’s mother, Sheri Gordon, retained the services of an attorney after Semaj went missing and refused to permit police officers to search for the missing baby to enter the home.
Pictures from inside the house where 16 month- old Semaj Crosby was found dead, released; home condemned. https://t.co/7HzookuCc1
— Courtney Gousman (@cgousman) May 2, 2017
The photos of Semaj Crosby’s home show clothing and trash scattered about the floors. Images that appear to capture a child’s bedroom show more trash and clothing on the barely visible floor and mattresses from a bunkbed turned sideways amidst the mess. The kitchen counter was not only littered with dirty dishes and trash but multiple cans of bug killer as well. There was no working stove inside the home, and large food crumbs were readily apparent on the filthy carper shown inside the home.
Police officers deemed the house where Semaj lived not safe for human occupancy immediately after finally being allowed inside the dwelling. The children’s services workers who had been there a day before reported they found “no obvious hazards or safety concerns” inside the very same home.
Backlash against children’s services workers was both swift and severe on the internet. Social media posters angrily wondered why such a home was deemed acceptable only a day before. Calls for the Department of Children and Family Services workers to spend one month living inside the deplorable home where the toddler’s body was found are also popping up on Twitter and Facebook.
“The entire structure appeared unsanitary because of the heavily soiled carpets, walls, garbage and [it] contains a serious degree of filth,” a Will County inspector stated in the report filed pertaining to the home where the body of Semaj Crosby was found. “The kitchen area of the home had several piles; on the stove was stacked food in foil pans and there [were] pizza boxes stacked on the table. The cabinet’s doors in the kitchen [were] broken and/or missing.”
The inspector also stated the back door of the Chicago area home was blocked by bags of trash, multiple strollers, clothing, toys, and storage containers. The electrical panel near the back door was reportedly blocked by the debris as well.
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) April 26, 2017
Sheri Gordon has yet to comment about the remains of Semaj being found stuffed inside the dirty couch, why the police officers were barred from immediate entry to the home when searching for the missing toddler, or the filthy living conditions depicted by the photos taken inside her home.
In a prepared statement Gordon’s attorney deemed the mother to be “extremely distraught” over the death of Semaj, her only daughter. The Joliet Township woman also has two sons. The attorney claims Sheri Gordon is assisting with the investigation into her daughter’s death “to the best of her abilities.”
Semaj Crosby’s godmother told local reporters from NBC5 that “squatters” brought bags of dirty clothes inside the home where the Chicago area toddler was found dead. Between five and 15 people were known to live, at least sporadically, inside the house where Semaj Crosby was found dead.
When the Joliet Township toddler was reported missing Sheri Gordon told police officers Semaj had simply wandered away while playing outside with her cousins. Approximately 100 law enforcement officers, divers, search dogs, and volunteers looked for the little girl for many hours before the officers were allowed into the home and discovered her body.
Will County Department of Children and Family Services representative Veronica Resa indicated to CBS Chicago the agency had investigated Sheri Gordon four times for child neglect or child abuse related issues and deemed the allegations unfounded. Two other similar investigations for neglect, which were opened in March, still remain open and active. DCFS staffers saw Semaj Crosby and her two brothers when they visited the home the day before the toddler was reported missing.
— Sandra Torres CBS 2 (@SandraTorresL) April 26, 2017
The Chicago area DCFS representative also revealed the agency has been working with Sheri Gordon and the three children since the fall of last year. No arrests have yet been made in the death of Semaj Crosby case.
The toddler’s autopsy did not reportedly determine a clear cause of death. Toxicology tests results have not yet been received by the coroner. Police investigators said there were no obvious signs of trauma to the body of the little girl. Funeral services for Semaj Crosby are slated to take place on Friday.
[Featured Image by Miamia/Shutterstock]