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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Officer Down

Police continue to search for the hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a veteran Cook County sheriff's corrections officer as she was about to begin her overnight shift at Cook County Jail.

Nikkii Bostic-Jones, 38, was crossing California Avenue near 29th Street just before 11 p.m. Wednesday when a navy blue van hit her and knocked her into the path of a sheriff's squad car that also struck her, authorities said.

"Nobody's in jail for this, it's a tragedy -- very, very hurtful," her younger sister, Camika Bostic, said. "They just really took an innocent person's life, a mother of one. They need to turn themselves in."

Bostic-Jones lived in Plainfield and had a 6-year-old daughter, Nikkia, relatives said. The oldest of seven children, Bostic-Jones grew up in the Douglas Park neighborhood on the West Side with dreams of being a cop.

"She was a wonderful, wonderful person, she's always wanted to be a police officer," said her cousin, Cissi Bostic, her voice shaking with grief.

Bostic-Jones helped raise her younger siblings while pursuing an education, her family said.

"Nikkii was always the one who went to school," said Cissi Bostic, who grew up with her older cousin. "She went from high school straight to college. She never stopped with her education. She was the smartest one. I'm like, 'OK, I want to be like Nikkii when I grow up.'

"She was my role model," she said.

Bostic-Jones was about to begin her 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift at the jail when she was hit, according to her family.

Chicago and Cook County squad cars blocked off a two-block stretch of California Avenue from 31st Street to the site of the accident in front of Division 10, a maximum security wing of the jail. An opened umbrella lay in the middle of the sidewalk.

As the blue police lights flashed across the darkened street, a group of officers stood outside yellow crime scene tape. Two of them, a man and a woman, embraced.

"I'm too distraught, I can't believe it," an officer told a Tribune reporter. He said he knew Bostic-Jones and declined further comment, walking away with the group of officers.

Bostic-Jones was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, authorities said. A procession of police vehicles accompanied her body to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Authorities said they are searching for a navy blue full-size conversion van, possibly with blue and white stripes. It may have damage to the headlights, front end and right side. Anyone with information should call the Chicago police Major Accidents Unit at (312) 745-4521.