Chicago Police

‘Oh My God': Hours After Wife's Death, Minister Discovers He Drove Past the Crime Scene

The couple, who had been married for 17 years, were planning to go shopping for an early Mother's Day gift

David Brown was driving home from work just before 8 p.m. Thursday when he was forced to detour off his usual route as police tape blocked sidewalks and streets near his South Side Chicago home. 

"I thought it was just a shooting or something cause that's what's happening out there," Brown said.

After pulling into his driveway, Brown called his wife to try to let her know he planned to walk back to the nearby crime scene in the Chatham neighborhood to see what happened. She never answered. 

Once there Brown got a phone call from his grandchild's daycare saying his "grandbaby" had not yet been picked up.

"I said, 'That's impossible, [my wife] went up there at 6 o clock,'" Brown, a minister, said he told the daycare. "They said 'Nope.' I said, 'Oh my God.'"

Brown rushed back to his home only to find his wife was not there. 

"That made me go back to the scene [again] and talk to the police and ask," he said. "I told them my wife might be missing. I thought maybe she had the grandbaby or something but I had to go pick her up."

At the scene, authorities said a woman had been struck and killed during a police chase. Brown was told he needed to go to the University of Chicago Medical Center. 

"They had four names," he said, tears streaming down his face. "Julia Callaway, they had it on a pad."

Callaway, 55, was hit by a car while walking on the 7900 block of South Lafayette Avenue less then a mile away from her home at around 5:33 p.m. Thursday, according to Chicago police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

She was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m., officials said.

The grandmother, who leaves behind two daughters, was one of two people struck in the police chase, officials said. The other pedestrian hit was a 30-year-old man, who was treated at the scene.  

Police were attempting to conduct a traffic stop on a gray sedan near 81st Street and South Evans Avenue when the vehicle fled.

Neighbors said they heard a large boom, then saw a man and woman both lying on the ground. The car went on to hit an SUV a few blocks away.  

Three males jumped out of the car after it crashed and attempted to run away, according to police, but were taken into custody.

Officers said narcotics were recovered from inside the vehicle. Further details on the suspects' ages and identities were not immediately available and charges were pending.

Brown said his wife usually didn't walk down Lafayette to pick up their grandchild. 

"What made her go down Lafayette? I don't know," he said. 

The couple, who had been married for 17 years, were planning to go shopping Thursday night, an early Mother's Day gift, Brown said. 

"Now that money's being used to funeral services," he said. 

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