Young girl’s body found amid search for missing 1-year-old


HAMMOND, Ind. (WGN-TV) — A young girl’s body was found Thursday in Northwest Indiana amid an ongoing search for a missing 1-year-old girl from Wheeling, Illinois.

At around 1 p.m., Indiana State Police announced police activity near I-80 and Kennedy Avenue. NewsNation affiliate WGN’s SkyCam9 above the scene showed dive teams had entered a pond nearby.

Fishermen alerted authorities to a body in the pond, which is about 4 to 5 feet deep, and a young girl’s body was subsequently found.

The body was of an African-American girl younger than 5, police said in a news conference. Identification of the body is pending, but Wheeling police are at the scene amid the search for Jaclyn Dobbs.

Jaclyn “Angel” Dobbs’ mother, 21-year-old Ja’nya Murphy, was found dead by police in her Wheeling apartment around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday while conducting a well-being check.

Police said the cause of her death was strangulation.

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 — was found in Missouri along with the vehicle for which police had been searching. 

But Murphy’s daughter Angel is still missing. 

Authorities said the case does 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.

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