Man arrested for fatally shooting mother inside car with toddler, spared, in backseat

one year ago

Joliet news, Illinois news.

An Illinois man was charged with the murder of a young Joliet mother who was repeatedly shot inside her car early Sunday.

24-year-old Maya Smith was found dead in her car in an alley near the 1200 block of Clement Street. Her 2-year-old daughter was found unharmed in the backseat of the vehicle.

“She always came through for me all the time,” a friend of Smith said. “For me, I lost a sister. Maya was more like a sister to me than anything.”

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  • Police arrested 48-year-old Jermaine Mandley on Tuesday in connection with the incident and charged him with three counts of first-degree murder.

    Smith's friend said that the victim was working a food delivery night shift at the time of her murder.

    “In my 28 years in law enforcement, this is one of the most heinous acts that I've encountered,” the Joliet Police Chief said in a statement.

    “I'm extremely proud of our detectives, who have worked around the clock to bring this coward to justice. I hope this quick arrest provides comfort to the family of Ms. Smith during a time of such unspeakable loss.”