(CBS) — The 17-month-old Joliet Township girl who went missing in April and was found dead two days later beneath a couch in her home died of suffocation, the Will County Coroner’s Office says.

The toddler died of asphyxia and her death is classified as a homicide, the coroner said in a news release issued Friday.

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The conclusions are based on “police investigation, scene photographs and a complete autopsy examination with ancillary radiologic, microscopic and toxicologic studies,” the office said.

Crosby’s death has been controversial because state child-welfare agency representatives had deemed the girl was doing all right shortly before she went missing April 25. She was found dead April 27 in her Louis Road home underneath a couch.

Authorities said the child and her family had been living in squalid conditions.

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The rental home later burned down to the ground.

For months, authorities have been pressured by community activists to make some movement on the case. The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office issued a statement Friday that Semaj has not been forgotten.

“The tragic death of this little girl has had a profound impact on all of the prosecutors and investigators involved in this case,” the statement said.


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