wheeling

Car Found in Missouri as Search for Missing 1-Year-Old Continues After Mother's Death

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A vehicle that a missing 1-year-old girl was believed to be in after her mother was found dead in a Wheeling apartment this week was located in Missouri, but the child was not in it, police said.

Illinois State Police issued an endangered missing person advisory early Thursday morning "based on suspicious circumstances" surrounding the disappearance of 1-year-old Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs.

Family members had filed a missing persons report for the young girl's mother just before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday after 21-year-old Ja'nya Murphy failed to report to work or contact them, authorities said.

Officers investigating that report went to Murphy's home, where she lived with her 1-year-old daughter, in the 300 block of Inland Drive in Wheeling. There, they were able to access a balcony of her apartment, where they found an unlocked door.

"An ensuing check for well-being revealed Ms. Murphy had apparently been murdered and Angel to be missing," Wheeling police said in a release.

Investigators from several area departments are now working to find the child, as well as her mother's killer, and have asked for the public's help.

Authorities believed Jaclyn may have been in a a maroon 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan with Illinois license plate FP139293, but the vehicle was later discovered in Missouri with no sign of the child.

State police said Jaclyn "may be in danger."

The child is described as a 1-year-old Black female, standing 2 feet tall and weighing 24 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on her disappearance is being asked to contact the Wheeling Police Department at (847) 459-2632 or call 911.

"We need the public's assistance in this," deputy chief Al Stephen said.

Further information on what happened wasn't immediately released by police. Authorities said they currently do not have enough information to issue an AMBER Alert in the case.

"We have no information to go along with who she might be with, the vehicle she might be in," Stephen said. "The only thing that we know is that we have a child that's missing, and we're trying to work our way through it."

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