It has come to the attention of the Will County Sheriff's Office that specific news agencies and their social media chatter has once again been mishandling and circulating wrong information. Because of the tragic nature of this case and the emotional outpouring surrounding it, the Sheriff's Office feels it is important to keep the public abreast of the facts.
The Semaj Crosby case remains an open and active investigation. The case is still considered a 'suspicious death' investigation. Several news agencies and reporters have recently FOIA'd (Freedom of Information Act) information/reports surrounding this case. The Sheriff's Office has responded to those requests and most of the information has been denied. As part of the denial letter the Sheriff's Office refers to Illinois State Statutes to explain to the requester our reasons for denial. A particular section of that denial letter refers to "IL State Statute Exemption 7(1)(d)(vii) Obstruction of Ongoing Criminal Investigation".
To clarify, the Sheriff's Office has not 'upgraded' the Crosby investigation. Sheriff's detectives from our Criminal Investigation Division continue their tireless work on this case. Because of the nature of this case, it is and always has been, considered a criminal case...opposed to a civil case. No one is in custody. No one has been ruled a suspect, nor has any person been ruled out at a suspect.
Other misleading statements is the information that has been provided to some news agencies/reporters, through FOIA requests, regarding the amount of visits that were made to the Crosby house within the past year. News reports and social media sites, with the actual address activity information that was provided to them, have reported that the Sheriff's Office, or "officers" made 59 visits to that residence. This simply is not true.
To clarify, the Will County Probation Office made 40 visits to the home. The Sheriff's Office and the Probation Office are two separate agencies. When a Probation officer visits a residence, for whatever reason, they are required to call the Sheriff's 911 dispatch center. Sheriff's deputies do not respond to these visits unless requested to do so from Probation personnel. The Sheriff's Office did however make 14 visits to the residence. Five reports were deemed necessary and written by deputies, one of which was the day Semaj went missing. Nine other visits to the home did not warrant a written report, such as the two times (in one day) deputies delivered Easter baskets to the home.
To update: The Sheriff's Office continues to work diligently on this case. The FBI, the Will County State's Attorney's Office, and the Will County Coroner continue to work with the Sheriff's Office in order to do a complete and thorough investigation. At this time, all family members have retained an attorney. This past week detectives have conducted numerous interviews. Additionally, last week, the Sheriff's Office placed a request to expedite any lab results. Yesterday, the Sheriff's Office did receive a portion of the lab tests in this case. Nothing regarding these results will be provided to news agencies, nor the public, as this is a critical part of the investigation. The final lab results are not expected, at a minimum, for 3 to 4 weeks.
Finally, please be patient and allow law enforcement to do their jobs. We are asking news agencies, reporters, and the public to be aware that rumors, distorted facts, and incorrect information, can have a negative effect on an investigation. All pertinent information surrounding this tragic death will be released from the Sheriff's Office. That information can be found at www.willcosheriff.org (click Press Releases) or you can visit us on Facebook or Twitter. -end-