Retired correctional officer brutally beaten, robbed in Hazel Crest home, family says

HAZEL CREST, Ill. (WLS) -- A former Illinois Department of Correction officer is fighting for his life after being beaten and robbed in his Hazel Crest home.

"I really can't tell you what happened," said Mary Cross, victim's daughter.

Cross said she walked into her father's home very early Thursday morning to find him slumped over inside, unconscious.

"Blood coming through his mouth and nose. I'm screaming, hollering, 'Help me!,' running in and out of the house," she said.

According to his children, someone got into 62-year-old Keith Chamble's home, brutally beat him, and stole his wallet, phone, and car. Chamble was retired from a long career as a corrections officer at Illinois state penitentiaries. His daily joy now, they said, is playing the lottery.

"He was a sergeant, someone who protects the lives of others. Who would do that?" said Javon Nix, victim's daughter.

"This happened for a reason. You don't just go in someone's house, beat someone up, leave them for dead," said Shanae Cross, victim's daughter.

Investigators are working to piece together clues, perhaps from home surveillance, while Chamble's children and family stay by his bedside, hoping he wakes up.

"That's the most hurtful part," Shanae said. "The one person who could tell you what happened can't tell us what happened."

Chamble's family said he underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain and is on life support.
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