CHICAGO — An 8-year-old girl found dead in her Austin home was strangled and hit several times, an autopsy released Saturday found.
Gizzell Ford was found unresponsive about 11 a.m. Friday in her home in the 5200 block of West Adams Street, officials said. She was pronounced dead on the scene at 11:15 a.m.
An autopsy released by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said Ford's primary cause of death as strangulation and it was ruled a homicide. Another contributing factor was several blunt-force injuries due to child abuse or neglect, the autopsy said.
Despite the autopsy, police on Saturday afternoon said they were still pursuing the case as a death investigation and not a homicide.
The girl's grandmother is being investigated by the Illinois Department for Child and Family Services for child abuse and neglect of the girl and her two siblings, the Tribune reported.
Officials with DCFS could not immediately be reached for comment.