Body of Missing Girl, 1, Discovered in Retention Pond by Construction Worker Days After Mom Found Strangled

The cause of death for Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs has not been announced

Ja'nya Murphy and her daughter Jacklyn Dobbs
Ja'nya Murphy and her daughter, Jaclyn Dobbs. Photo: Wheeling Police Department

The search for missing Illinois 1-year-old Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs has ended in tragedy in Indiana, officials confirm.

On Thursday, at about noon, the little girl's body was discovered by construction workers in a retention pond close to Interstate 80 in Hammond.

Her cause of death has not been announced.

Angel had been reported missing less than two days earlier — after officers found her 21-year-old mother, Ja'nya Murphy, dead inside their apartment in Wheeling.

According to investigators, Murphy had been strangled to death.

Angel, police said, was subsequently taken from the apartment by someone who fled in a maroon 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan bearing Illinois license plate FP139293.

Detectives located surveillance footage of Murphy in the presence of a man the day before her murder. They later identified that man, whom Wheeling Police described as a person of interest.

The man, whose identity has not been publicly revealed, was located late Wednesday, along with the van, in Missouri, and taken into custody, according to a statement from police.

But the little girl was nowhere to be seen.

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Police have said Murphy and the man had a previous relationship. The man, who has not yet been charged, is not Angel's father.

Murphy was reported missing Nov. 9, after failing to show up to work.

When police were unable to reach Murphy, a 2018 graduate of Stevenson High School, they gained access to her home through the balcony and found her dead inside.

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