Police say a child’s body found in a northwest Indiana retention pond has been identified as that of a 1-year-old suburban Chicago girl whose mother was found dead days earlier
The toddler was discovered missing Tuesday after her mother, 21-year-old Ja’nya Murphy, was found dead in her apartment in north suburban Wheeling. An autopsy determined Murphy had died of asphyxiation strangulation and her death was ruled a homicide.
Wheeling police said Thursday that Missouri authorities had arrested a person of interest in Murphy’s death. He was stopped by police in western Missouri while driving a minivan that was also sought by police, based on video reviewed by officers, authorities said.
Police said the man had a relationship with Murphy, but he was not her daughter’s father.
The man, whose name has not been released by authorities, was last seen with Murphy at a mall on Monday, around the time her family last had contact with her.
Murphy was a 2018 graduate of Stevenson High School. She had lived with her daughter at the apartment building where her body was found, police said.