September 26, 2022
Breaking | My Suburban Life


Timeline: The disappearance and death of Preston Heights toddler Semaj Crosby

JOLIET TOWNSHIP – A timeline of the disappearance and death of 1-year-old Semaj Crosby:

3:20 p.m. Tuesday: Semaj and her brothers are seen at their Louis Road home by Department of Children and Family Services personnel. The girl is later seen by neighbors playing with other children in the front yard.

4:30 p.m. Tuesday: Semaj cannot be found, her family told police, and the family begins searching for her.

5:45 p.m. Tuesday: Semaj’s mother, Sheri Gordon, calls 911 to report her missing. Will County Sheriff’s deputies arrive and quickly search the house, then begin searching the Preston Heights neighborhood.

Tuesday night: Additional emergency personnel join the search, which continues throughout the night and includes tracking dogs and a helicopter. Semaj’s family is interviewed by investigators.

Wednesday morning: The FBI joins the investigation, and the family is interviewed again. Gordon initially speaks with investigators but stops after consulting with an attorney. Dozens of volunteers search nearby fields while divers are sent to examine retention ponds.

Wednesday afternoon: Sheriff’s police describe the family as “cooperative” with detectives and say it appears the girl wandered away.

11 p.m. Wednesday: After discussion with Gordon’s attorney, police are allowed to search her residence.

Midnight Thursday: Semaj’s body is discovered inside the house.

10 a.m. Thursday: An autopsy is conducted. The girl’s death is listed as “suspicious.”

2 p.m. Thursday: The coroner’s office announces further study is needed to determine how Semaj died.

6 p.m. Thursday: After two days of limiting access, law enforcement reopens streets near the scene and removes police tape surrounding the Crosby house.

7 p.m. Thursday: Two vigils are held in memory of Semaj – one at Nowell Park and one at the Crosby home.

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