The child's body found in a northwest Indiana pond Thursday afternoon has been identified as Jaclyn Angel Dobbs, the missing 1-year-old girl whose mother was found dead in a suburban apartment this week, according to the Lake County Coroner.
Dobbs' body was discovered in a water retention pond just off the expressway hours after authorities urged residents to avoid the area of Interstate 80 and Kennedy Avenue for "police activity," according to Indiana State Police.
The 1-year-old's cause of death remains unknown as an autopsy has been scheduled for Friday morning.
Wheeling police said they sent a team to the scene as they frantically search for 1-year-old Dobbs, who has been missing since authorities discovered her mother strangled to death in a Wheeling apartment Tuesday. Indiana State Police confirmed they were working with the Major Crimes Assistance Team in northwest Illinois regarding the investigation.
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Around the same time as the search began in northwest Indiana, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office said an autopsy found 21-year-old Ja'nya Murphy, Jacklyn's mother, died of asphyxiation strangulation.
According to authorities, investigators uncovered video evidence that led them to a person and vehicle of interest in the case. Police did not release the person of interest's identity but said the person "had a previous relationship" with Murphy, though he is not the child's father, police said.
The person of interest was seen with Murphy the day before she was found dead, believed to be murdered, and they learned soon after that the person had left the state of Illinois, Wheeling police said.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Wheeling Police Department at (847) 459-2632 or call 911.