HAMMOND, Ind. — The body of a missing 1-year-old girl from Wheeling was found Thursday in a Northwest Indiana retention pond off the interstate.
Around noon, Indiana State Police announced that there was police activity near I-80 and Kennedy Avenue.
Construction workers alerted authorities to a body in the pond, which is about four to five feet deep, and a young girl’s body, later identified as missing 1-year-old Jaclyn “Angel” Dobbs, was subsequently recovered.
Jaclyn’s mother, 21-year-old Ja’nya Murphy, was found dead by police in her apartment on the 300 block of Inland Drive around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday after conducting a well-being check.
An autopsy determined Murphy had died of asphyxiation strangulation and her death was ruled a homicide.
Investigators tracked down video that helped them to identify a person seen with Murphy on Monday. The person — who had a previous relationship with Murphy but was not the child’s father — was found in Missouri along with the vehicle police were searching for. He was arrested and charges are pending.
Authorities said the case did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert, but Illinois State Police issued an Endangered Missing Persons Advisory notification for the toddler.
Murphy’s family contacted police Tuesday after she didn’t go to work and they hadn’t heard from her.
Investigators are now processing evidence from several locations, from Wheeling to Missouri.
Murphy was a 2018 graduate of Stevenson High School. She had lived with her daughter at the apartment building where her body was found, police said.