Law and Order, Local Police Reports, Park Forest

Five-year-old Dies, Grandparents Charged

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Authorities charged a grandfather and grandmother in connection with the death of their five-year-old grandchild, Jada.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the death of Jada Moore, a five-year-old girl from Park Forest,” police began their statement on the young girl’s death.

On July 14, 2023, at 10:50 pm, Park Forest police officers and paramedics responded to a home located in the 300 block of Osage Street for an unresponsive five-year-old girl. The child’s grandfather, Klent Elwoods, 62, called 911, and allegedly admitted to abusing Jada, according to police. Mr. Elwoods told dispatchers she was unresponsive.

Upon arrival, officers and paramedics immediately performed CPR. Paramedics took Jada to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Hospital. Police took Mr. Elwoods and his wife, Lisa Jones, 57, into custody. Officers transported the pair to the Park Forest Police Department for further investigation.

Five-year-old Airlifted to Chicago

Medical personnel airlifted Jada later to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago. She “sadly passed away on July 15, 2023, around 9:00 am,” police said.

Jada exhibited signs of recent physical abuse as well as older indicators, according to police. Park Forest detectives interviewed Elwoods and Jones, who allegedly admitted physically abusing Jada.

On July 16, 2023, the detectives presented all the evidence to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Authorities there approved the charge of first-degree murder against both Elwoods and Jones. Mr. Elwoods and Ms. Jones had an appearance in bond court at Markham Courthouse on July 17, 2023.

Officials Share Grief

Officials shared news of Jada Moore’s death Monday at the meeting of the Village Board. Neighbors and family members might face a reckoning for missing the signs of abuse.

“If you see something, say something,” Trustee Tiffani Graham said during the meeting.

Mayor Woods began his remarks on Jada's death by quoting a poet: 'William Wordsworth once said: A simple child. That lightly draws its breath. And feels its life in every limb. What should it know of death?'Click To Tweet

Mayor Joseph Woods began his remarks by quoting a poet, “William Wordsworth once said, ‘A simple child. That lightly draws its breath. And feels its life in every limb. What should it know of death?’

“Frankly speaking, it should know nothing of death,” the mayor suggested. “And while there is no excuse for such an atrocity, we know that there are social ills that need to be addressed. As a society, no one stands alone.”

Next, Mayor Woods shared an idea he discussed on the campaign tail. “

In light of this horrible event and the promise I made to voters, I will be engaging the manager … to consider establishing a Family/Parents Advisory Council. [The Council would] help further address the needs and challenges of families throughout this Village.”

Finally, the mayor turned his attention to those who responded to the scene.

“For the first responders who arrived on such a scene, my prayers and thoughts are with you as well,” he said.

Police Affirm Presumption of Innocence

“The Park Forest Police Department would like to remind the public that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” police said in a statement.

The officers of the Park Forest Police Department expressed “their deepest sympathy to Jada’s family and friends and grieve the tragic loss of this child’s life,” in the statement police released.