Charges Filed in Death of Girl Found in Woods

James Harris is expected in bond court Thursday on charges he killed 19-month-old Ameriah Roberson

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Boyfriend says he left girl unattended in car, came back to find her gone. Charlie Wojciechowski reports. (Published Monday, Mar 17, 2014)

    Prosecutors on Wednesday approved first-degree murder charges against a man who'd been questioned in connection with the death of a little girl whose body was found in a wooded area in Riverdale earlier this week.

    James Harris is expected in bond court Thursday on charges he killed 19-month-old Ameriah Roberson.

    Roberson, of the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue in Chicago's South Side Douglas neighborhood, was reported missing at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Her body was discovered about two hours earlier by someone walking in an area just west of 140th Court and Stewart Avenue in Riverdale, but the identity was not immediately known.

    A Monday autopsy indicated the cause of death as a subdural hematoma and assault, and police termed the case a "death investigation."

    Authorities on Monday night said they were questioning the girl's mother and Harris, who family members said was the woman's boyfriend and not the little girl's biological father. In a Wednesday statement, Chicago police said Harris admitted to killing the girl in his apartent and then dumping her body.

    Roberson's grandmother, Bernadette Madison, told NBC Chicago that Harris said he left the girl unattended in her car seat near East 35th Street and South Rhodes Avenue and that she was gone when he returned.