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CHICAGO (CBS) – A year after the murder of Chicago Police Officer Michael Bailey, no one has been formally charged with his death. But as CBS 2′s Vince Gerasole reports, at a memorial service on Monday, there was reason for hope.
“There are those that I know that he still guides. We are better for having known him,” Central District Cmdr. Christopher Kennedy said Monday.
Bagpipes played, co-workers came to attention and a family still grieved, all in memory of Officer Bailey, who was gunned down outside his home exactly one year ago.
Bailey was a month away from retirement, in uniform, polishing his new car outside his home, when he was fatally shot by a would-be robber. For months a frustrating code of silence seemed to block any hope of an arrest.
But those at a memorial service for Bailey on Monday took heart that an informant has come forward, saying a 24-year-old inmate already behind bars for weapons violations has confessed to killing Bailey.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office has been building a case, but has yet to file charges.
“If he was out then we’d be, probably, arguing and fighting about it, but as long as the guy is in custody we want to get it right,” Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.
Bailey’s daughter, Jada, said, “I’m just grateful right now that everything is coming together.”
Jada Bailey is one of the officer’s three children – still longing for her father, yet sensing his guidance each day.
“I feel like God has his hand over my life and I feel like my father is watching over me and he has opened so many doors,” Jada said.
Jada Bailey is now a police cadet, working in the same precinct as her father. She’ll begin officer training by year’s end, following in the footsteps of a caring dad, whose life was taken by senseless violence.
“It does hurt, he was my father. Naturally, it hurts, but I am healing,” she said. “As I was sitting there I was thinking, if he was here today, I would just thank him because he helped me find my calling in life.”
Meantime, sources said that, in addition to weapons violations, the suspect in custody is also being held for a carjacking. He was arrested on those charges last September. The State’s Attorney’s office wouldn’t say when he might be charged in Bailey’s death.