CHICAGO (WLS) -- A daycare provider was shot to death on her way home from work Wednesday night in Altgeld Gardens on Chicago's Far South Side.
Devastated family members remembered 53-year-old Kimberly Underwood as more than just a loving mother and grandmother, but a role model to all who knew her.
"For someone to take her away it's so sad. And something like this has never happened to us, to think that it happened so close to our home, it hurt us so bad. Such a positive role model in our family: two beautiful daughters, a son and 11 beautiful grandchildren," said Trina Hall, her cousin. "It's going to be hard on the whole entire family."
Chicago police said Underwood was just coming home from work as a daycare provider when she was caught in deadly cross fire on East 133rd Street just before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Her family said she never made it out of her car and was only 10 feet from her parking spot when she was shot.
"She was like a daughter to me, so I feel like I have lost a daughter myself," said Denise Williams, her aunt.
"She had a genuine, natural spirit. She was one of those people who was always laughing," said Niki Edwards, her niece.
Her family said she was looking forward to celebrating her upcoming birthday on November 22.
"She was so happy about her birthday coming up and now we'll have to celebrate without her," said Angela Underwood Green, her older sister.
Her grieving family pleaded to the public for help finding her killer.
"Please if anyone knows anything that happened, please come forward because you may be standing in our shoes one day," Williams said.
An autopsy has confirmed that Underwood died of multiple gunshot wounds. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office declared her death a homicide.
Area South detectives are investigating. No one is in custody.
Daycare provider fatally shot on way home from work on Far South Side ID'd