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Chicago police probe deaths of father and daughter in apartment where toddler was found unharmed

Curtis Hardman, 79, and his daughter, Javonni Jenkins. 27, were found dead inside a South Side apartment Wednesday, relatives said. Jenkins' 2-year-old son was uninjured.
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Chicago police are investigating the deaths of a man and his adult daughter discovered Wednesday in an apartment where her 2-year-old boy was found unharmed.

Police were called to a well-being check at an apartment on the 8100 block of South Drexel Avenue and found a 79-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman dead, Deputy Chief Senora Ben said during a news conference posted on the department’s Facebook page.

Javonni Jenkins.
Javonni Jenkins.via NBC Chicago

“There was a 2-year-old male on scene, unharmed,” she said. “He was taken to the hospital.”

During the media briefing, Ben said the investigation was ongoing and declined to divulge information such as how the two people died, whether police had any suspects and what was the specific nature of the relationship between the man, woman and child.

She said the dead adults were “family members” and described the incident as “isolated,” noting the public was not in danger.

“We got witnesses that we are interviewing and the detectives are still investigating the situation,” Ben said.

Police did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for additional information Friday.

NBC Chicago reported the dead family members are Curtis Hardman and Javonni Jenkins. The boy in the apartment was identified by the news outlet as Jenkins’ son, CJ.

NBC Chicago also reported police said the family members were fatally shot.

Germaine Owens, Jenkins’ cousin, told NBC Chicago: “She didn’t deserve this. She don’t even have an enemy in this world,” she said. “For somebody to take her life, you got to be some kind of … demon or monster.”

Owens said family is now taking care of CJ, who seemed to be inseparable from his mother.

“We had get-togethers and he would be glued right to her side,” she said. “If you see [Javonni], you’re going to see the baby.”

Owens also told NBC Chicago Hardman was a devoted father and grandfather, who raised Jenkins after Jenkins’ mother passed away when she was 4 years old.