Foster Mother Charged With Murder in Death of Toddler

The foster mother of a toddler found dead in northwest Indiana is facing multiple felony charges, including murder, in connection with the child’s death.

Jamila Hodge, 32, was charged with murder, aggravated battery, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and “several other felonies,” the Gary Police Department said Saturday in a release.

Around 11:42 a.m. on Thursday, officers responded to a call in the 7500 block of Ash Ave. in Gary, Indiana.

Upon arrival, they discovered a 20-month-old girl who was unresponsive, authorities said.

The child was pronounced dead on the scene by the Lake County Coroner’s office, who later identified her as Emma Salinas.

An autopsy Saturday did not provide information about the girl’s injuries pending further investigation, but ruled her manner of death a homicide, the coroner’s office said.

Further details were not available, and when reached, the Indiana Department of Child Services was unable to immediately provide specifics on the case.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Lake County/Gary Metro Homicide Unit at 219-755-3855 or call the Crime Tip Line at 866-CRIME-GP.

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