Police: James Harris killed toddler in South Side home, dumped body in Riverdale

James Harris / Photo from Chicago Police

James Harris / Photo from Chicago Police

James Harris IV has been charged for allegedly killing his girlfriend’s toddler in his Douglas area home then dumping the body in south suburban Riverdale, authorities said.

Harris, 23, was charged with first-degree murder, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. He is expected to appear in bond court Thursday.

Harris reported 19-month-old Ameriah Roberson missing about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, police said. He told police she went missing from outside the lobby of his home in the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue.

Chicago Police, including a canine unit, began an “exhaustive search” of the building and surrounding areas for the toddler, police said. Later that night, Area Central detectives learned the body of a little girl had been found several hours earlier in the 14000 block of South Normal Avenue in Riverdale.

The child was discovered about 3:30 p.m. — two hours before Harris reported Ameriah missing, police said. Authorities confirmed Monday that the body found in Riverdale was Ameriah.

An autopsy found the girl died of a subdural hematoma and closed head injuries from an assault, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Police said Harris admitted killing Ameriah in his apartment, then driving to Riverdale and dumping her body in a secluded area.

Ameriah’s grandmother, Bernadette Madison, 46, said her daughter, Joclyn Roberson, 23, called her Sunday evening, moments after she learned Ameriah was missing. Madison said Roberson has known her boyfriend since grade school but he is not the girl’s biological father.

Chicago Police worked the case in conjunction with Riverdale police, Illinois State Police and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force.

— Sun-Times Media Wire

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