Police Identify Person Of Interest In Death Of Ja’nya Murphy, Disappearance Of Her Daughter

Murphy was found dead from an apparent homicide in her Illinois apartment this week.
Ja'nya Murphy and her daughter Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs.
Ja'nya Murphy and her daughter Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs.
Wheeling Police Department

Police in Wheeling, Illinois, said Thursday that they have identified a person of interest connected to the apparent homicide of Ja’nya Murphy and the disappearance of her daughter.

The unnamed person of interest had a previous relationship with Murphy, 21, and was last seen with her on Monday, according to the Wheeling Police Department. Authorities said they discovered the connection while “reconstructing the last hours of Ms. Murphy’s life with a focus on locating her missing daughter, Jaclyn ‘Angel’ Dobbs,” who is 1 year old.

The person of interest was spotted in a car ― a rented 2020 maroon Dodge Caravan with Illinois plates ― in Missouri late Wednesday, police said.

Dobbs remains unaccounted for. Investigators have “executed multiple search warrants and are working around the clock to locate the missing toddler,” police Chief James Dunne said Thursday, adding that authorities have enacted an endangered missing person advisory.

Police found Murphy dead in her apartment late Tuesday night after family members said she had not been in touch with them and after she had failed to show up for work. While performing a wellness check, police were able to access her apartment through her balcony and found her “apparently murdered.” A cause of death has not yet been formally announced.