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Toddler Found Dead in Riverdale Leads to Charges Against Mom's Boyfriend

By Emily Morris | March 19, 2014 11:19am | Updated on March 19, 2014 11:36am
 James Harris IV, (l.) of the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue, is accused of murdering Amerah Roberson.
James Harris IV, (l.) of the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue, is accused of murdering Amerah Roberson.
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Chicago Police Department, Facebook

CHICAGO — A Douglas neighborhood man has been charged with the slaying of his girlfriend's 19-month-old daughter, who was found dead in south suburban Riverdale earlier this week.

James Harris IV, 23, of the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue, was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Amerah Roberson, authorities said.

Harris is the one who reported the toddler missing from outside the lobby of his home on Sunday about 5:30 p.m., police said in a statement.

Police said they worked with detectives to look for the toddler throughout the neighborhood before learning that the body of a girl had been found in the Riverdale suburb earlier that day.

The girl was found dead in the 14000 block of South Normal Avenue in Riverdale about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, two hours before Harris reported her missing, according to police.

Local detectives contacted the authorities who were investigating in Riverdale and realized the body matched the description of the toddler, police said.

Police initially said that the girl's mother told authorities she walked away from her daughter briefly in the 3500 block of South Rhoades Avenue about 5:30 p.m. that day and, when she returned, her toddler was missing.

During the investigation, Harris admitted that he murdered his girlfriend's daughter in his Chicago apartment before he drove to Riverdale and dumped her body, according to police.

An autopsy ruled that her cause of death was internal bleeding, head injuries and assault, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. She lived in the 100 block of Warren Street in suburban Calumet City, according to the morgue.

Harris is scheduled to appear in bond court on Thursday.