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GARY — A foster mother has been charged with murder of a toddler found unresponsive Thursday, police announced Saturday.

Jamila S. Hodge, 32, of Gary, faces multiple charges, including murder, aggravated battery, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and several other felonies, in connection with the death of Emma Salinas. Hodge is the foster mother of Salinas, police said. 

Salinas was pronounced deceased at the home at 12:54 p.m. by the Lake County coroner's office. Salinas is listed as 20 months old on a release from the coroner's office.

Gary police were called at 11:42 a.m. to a residence in the 7500 block of Ash Avenue for a report of an unresponsive child, Gary police Lt. Dawn Westerfield said in a news release. 

The cause of death was pending as of Saturday. The manner of death was listed as homicide on a news release from the coroner's office.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact Detective Kristopher Adams of the Lake County/Gary Metro Homicide Unit at 219-755-3855. To remain anonymous, call 1-866-CRIME-GP. 


Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.