Illinois mother found dead, 1-year-old daughter missing

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Photo: Illinois State Police

UPDATE: A body has been found in Indiana that police say is a African American female under the age of 5.

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WHEELING, Ill. (WGN) — Police are asking for the public’s help after a 21-year-old woman was found dead in her apartment in Wheeling. Her 1-year-old daughter is missing.

Police said the department received a Missing Persons report around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday after family members became concerned that Ja’nya Murphy had not been to work, nor had any contact with them since the previous day.

After initial attempts to contact Murphy failed, police and fire personnel conducted a well-being check at Murphy’s apartment on the 300 block of Inland Drive. Authorities found the balcony door unlocked and discovered Murphy dead, according to police.

Her daughter, Jaclyn “Angel” Dobbs, was missing.

Illinois State Police have issued an Endangered Missing Person Advisory for the toddler.

Police said they believe Angel was in a maroon 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan with Illinois license plates. The vehicle was later found in Missouri, but Angel was not inside.

According to WBBM, police have identified a “person of interest” in the case.

Wheeling Police along with the Northwest Suburban Major Crimes Assistance Team are actively working to safely return Angel and to identify and apprehend those responsible.

“At this time we are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Angel,” Wheeling police said in an alert.

“The family was very close, they do not know where she’s at, they would usually provide babysitting,” Dep. Chief Al Steffen said.

Murphy was a 2018 graduate of Stevenson High School and lived with her daughter in Wheeling.

Anyone with information is urged to call police at 847-459-2690.

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