A father has reached a multi-million settlement five years after his daughter was found stuffed under the couch at her mother’s place.
Sema’j Crosby was just 17 months old when she was found dead in her mother’s apartment in Joliet Township, Illinois.
According to the reports, the little girl’s body was found stuffed under a couch in Sheri Gordon’s house on April 24, 2017.
Following the gruesome discovery, Sema’j’s father, James Crosby, launched a lawsuit against the Department of Children and Family Services contractor Children’s Home and Aid.
According to the attorney who filed the document, “there were so many warnings to Children Home and Aid and to DCFS that this child was in danger. The floor was disgusting, there were roaches on the wall, the place was condemnable, and they knew it and should have known it.”
The suit also accused the department of failing to act after finding the baby girl living in poor conditions.
It has since been revealed that Family Services workers who were working on the case visited Gordon’s home on April 24, 2017, following a report of suspected child neglect and drugs being used in the house.
This was allegedly the 41st time the agency was called to the home.
Upon the arrival, workers told the mother to clean up the house and scheduled another visit.
The following day, a DCFS investigator returned to the Joliet Township property and discovered “dirty dishes and trash left to the side of the kitchen.”
Just hours after the visit, Sema’j was reported missing.
“On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, the Will County Sheriff obtained consent to search the home at 11 p.m. The Sheriff’s department donned hazmat suits when searching the home, due to the filthy, unsafe, and unsanitary conditions,” the suit says.
Eventually, the girl’s body was found stuffed under the couch in the living room.
A week later, the house that was occupied by up to 15 people – including relatives of Gordon – was burned to the ground in presumed arson.
Following five years of legal battle, Crosby has finally reached a settlement with the DCFS after accusing the Children’s Home and Aid of failing to ensure his daughter’s safety despite numerous reports.
“I am happy to announce that we have settled the case for $6,450,000. No amount of money can possibly bring Sema’j Crosby back, but we hope that organizations such as Children’s Home & Aid, as well as other contractors with the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, will abide by their contractual obligations to provide the best possible care for children,” Crosby said.
Meanwhile, Crosby’s attorney said “there was no reason Sema’j had to die” and that “the money that will go to her brothers and sisters will never ease the pain.”
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