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Family left to raise 2-year-old after boy’s mother, grandfather found shot to death in East Chatham

By Jessica D’Onofrio & Christian Piekos

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    CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago police are trying to find out who shot and killed a woman and her father inside a South Side apartment, leaving a toddler unharmed Wednesday.

Police responded to the 8100-block of South Drexel Avenue in East Chatham for a well-being check just before 11 a.m.

When officers arrived and made entry, a 27-year-old woman and a 79-year-old man were found dead, police said. A 2-year-old child was found unharmed.

The child was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital for observation.

ABC7 Chicago has blurred the child’s face to protect his identity.

The man and woman had been shot to death, according to police.

The two victims have been identified as Javonni Jenkins and her father, Curtis Hardman.

Hardman’s son, Curtis Hardman Jr. said he is shocked by the sudden and tragic deaths of his father and half-sister.

Now, he hopes his family can come together to raise his Jenkin’s young son, who is now left without a mother.

“He was just a great person. He was always there for me no matter what,” said Curtis Jr.

Curtis Jr. has fond memories of his father, who he said was a generous family man, who taught his son how to swim and was there for him when he graduated high school.

“He was always light-hearted, fun to talk to no matter what,” Curtis Jr. said. “If you needed money, he would give you the last $5 he had in his pocket.”

“My brother called me and he asked me, ‘Are you okay?’ and I was wondering why he was asking me that. I was like, ‘I’m okay, what’s up?’ and he said your dad and your sister are dead,” Curtis Jr. said.

Jenkins was a beloved medical assistant at Holy Cross Hospital.

The hospital’s CEO, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, released a statement Thursday on her death, saying in part:

“On behalf of everyone at Holy Cross Hospital and the entire Sinai Chicago family, we send out our deepest condolences to Javonni’s family. We ask everyone to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Jenkin’s co-workers were the ones who initiated the well-being check after she didn’t show up to work. They said they knew something was wrong and started calling her, but it was Jenkins’ 2-year-old son, CJ, who eventually answered the phone, they told ABC7 Chicago.

“No one was answering, so finally the baby answered. We tried calling again through FaceTime to see if he answered, and he answered,” said Viviana, one of Jenkins’ co-workers who was too distraught to show her face.

The colleagues had the toddler on FaceTime for several hours.

“All we could see was from his face up, so the ceiling the majority of the time,” said one colleague who didn’t want to be identified. “He was kind of just walking around, and they didn’t hear any adult in the background.”

“The whole time I had the baby on the phone, he was very content, playing with his toys,” said Nicole Worth, another of Jenkins’ co-workers. “Once I had that baby on the phone and after a certain amount of time of no parents calling the baby, you don’t hear that — there’s something wrong.”

Once the co-workers got to the Far South Side apartment, that’s when police discovered the mother and grandfather dead.

“We came a little too late,” Worth said. “We saved the baby. That’s all we could do.”

Now, Jenkins’ family and co-workers are left to try and figure out what happened.

“Unbelievable that this happened. It seems so random. The guy was all about his family – taking care of his grandson and my sister,” Curtis Jr. said.

I’m trying to hold it together because she didn’t deserve this,” said Jenkins’ cousin, Germaine Owens.

As the family mourns the tragic loss of two of their own, they are now left to care for a 2-year-old boy who will never grow up with his loving mother.

“I hope that we as a family can come together to help raise a child and let him know that his mother loved him,” Curtis Jr. Said.

Area 2 detectives from CPD are still investigating and would not comment on if they have any possible suspects.

In the meantime, police said this is an isolated incident and they believe there is no threat to the public.

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