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Wife’s last words to slain cabbie: ‘I just told him to come home’ ( Read more from

Cabdriver Chinedu Madu, 51

Cabdriver Chinedu Madu, 51

Vivian Madu always worried when her husband was out in his cab at night.

Thursday evening, she was particularly concerned. It was snowing and the roads were bad, but her husband Chinedu insisted on picking up his cab. He left home around 5:30 p.m., the last time Madu would see him.

“We waited for him,” Madu said Friday. “I called him. I said, ‘Where are you?’ He said he’s on his way. I just told him to come home, that’s it.”

As the couple spoke, Chinedu was taking a man from downtown Chicago to the Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side. Police believe that man shot and killed Chinedu in an attempted robbery around 8:45 p.m., just 15 minutes after Chinedu had promised to hurry home to his wife and their 5-year-old son.

Officers recovered two shell casings from the back seat of the cab. They appear to match a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun found in a building near Roosevelt and Albany where the gunman was seen running into. A camera inside the cab had been damaged, police said.

By Friday morning, police had tracked down a suspect and arrested him. Charges were pending against the man, who at 23 has five drug convictions on his record.

It’s unclear if the robber got away with anything. Less than $100 was left behind in the cab, along with Chinedu’s phone and backpack, police said.

Chinedu was in the habit and stowing his earnings in the backpack, his wife said

“I always tell him, you have to drop your money at home, or put it in the bank and leave the backpack at home,” she said as she sat in her apartment with her son, also named Chinedu.

Madu, 41, said she and her husband were both born in Nigeria. He moved to Chicago 15 years ago and worked as a cabbie for the last 10 years.  The two knew each other from Nigeria and were married seven years ago.

Madu said she is a pharmacy student at Chicago State University and Chinedu was the breadwinner of the family.

Chinedu leased a cab from Chicago Carriage and drove it up to 12 hours a day during the week, slightly shorter hours during the weekends when he’d work nights and come back early in the morning. During the week, he’d end his days at 7 p.m. or 9 p.m.



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