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New hearing date set for foster mother charged with murder of 1-year-old

Jamilla Hodge

CROWN POINT — A hearing for a Gary woman alleged to have suffocated her 1-year-old foster child has been rescheduled from Monday to Sept. 11

Jamilia Hodge is charged with murder for the May incident. Her hearing will be in Lake Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell’s courtroom.

Defense attorney T. Edward Page filed the motion on Friday to reschedule the court hearing.

Hodge, 32, also faces charges of aggravated battery, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and several other felonies in connection with the death of Emma Salinas.

Police were dispatched at 11:42 a.m. May 4 to a home in the 7000 block of Ash Avenue in Gary after receiving reports of the child’s death, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Salinas was found dead in a crib in a bedroom at the residence, court records indicate.

An autopsy performed May 5 by the Lake County Coroner’s Office determined the child died as a result of suffocation, complicated by blunt force trauma to the head, the affidavit states.

Hodge initially denied having anything to do with the girl’s death, but then admitted to police she placed a hand over Emma’s mouth and held it there until she stopped breathing, according to the affidavit.

She said she then rolled the girl onto her stomach and left the room. She checked on Emma the next morning, and that is when she found the girl dead in her crib, the affidavit states.

Hodge told police she cared for three other foster children — a 4-year-old boy, a 6-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl, court records indicate. She also cared for her 1-year-old daughter.

Hodge is being held at the Lake County Jail without bond.