HAMMOND, Ind. (TCD) -- The body of a missing toddler was recovered from a pond Thursday days after her mother was found murdered in Illinois.
Indiana State Police announced in a news release that troopers were called out to Kennedy Avenue ramp on I-80 regarding a person in a retention pond. A construction worker reportedly pointed out the body to troopers, and Hammond Fire Department officials retrieved it from the water. Indiana State Police described the person found as a Black female "whose age appeared to be less than five years old." She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Lake County Coroner identified the victim as 1-year-old Jaclyn Angel Dobbs from Deerfield, Ill. Her autopsy was scheduled for Friday morning to determine a cause of death, according to Indiana State Police.
The Wheeling Police Department said they received a missing person report about 21-year-old Ja'nya Murphy, who is Dobbs' mother, on Nov. 9 at approximately 10:22 p.m. Murphy’s family reportedly became worried when she did not show up to work and had not spoken to them since the day prior.
According to the Wheeling Police Department, officers and Wheeling Fire Department officials conducted a well-being check at Murphy’s residence on Inland Drive. Officers entered her home via a balcony door and reportedly found her dead and her daughter missing.
On Nov. 11, Wheeling Police said they identified as person of interest and a car. The person of interest reportedly "had a previous relationship with Ms. Murphy" and was seen with her on Nov. 8. Investigators learned the person of interest left Illinois, and both the person and the vehicle were located in Missouri.
According to WGN-TV, the person of interest was taken into custody pending charges. They were not publicly identified. Murphy reportedly died from strangulation.