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Three More Curious Cases from 2013

In reporting our latest investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s crime numbers, we found a few mysterious cases dating back to 2013.

Richard Miller holds a photograph of his cousin, 11-year-old Donovan Turnage, after the fifth grader was killed in 2013.   Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune

We turned up three cases of vehicular homicide in 2013 that occurred while the killer was committing another felony. The Chicago Police Department did not categorize them as homicides, but crime experts told Chicago that it should have, given the rules of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Here are the three victims.

Donovan Turnage, 11

On the afternoon of December 21, 2013, the fifth grader was riding in the back seat of a GMC Yukon with his father, Derrick, then 45, and his brother, Derrick Jr., then 20, to get their Christmas haircuts. When they were passing Halsted and Garfield Boulevard in Englewood, a felon fleeing police in a Dodge Caravan smashed into them.

Donovan flew from the back passenger window onto the sidewalk. Recalled Turnage’s father afterward: “I was laying down on the ground right beside him. Talking to him, ‘Stay with me. I’m right here, your daddy right here, I ain’t going nowhere, I’m right here.’" But Donovan didn’t make it.

According to police, the driver of the Caravan was serial criminal Rockie Douglas, then 34, who had allegedly stolen the vehicle in a carjacking the day before. Police spotted Douglas with the Caravan in the nearby Back of the Yards neighborhood and tried to pull him over. But he sped away, hit the Turnages, ran off, stole another car, and escaped. Douglas was caught days later in Milwaukee on a separate charge. He has yet to be extradited or charged by Cook County.

Donovan Turnage’s death was a homicide, according to both the medical examiner’s office and the UCR rules. But not according to the city’s public data portal, the place where the Chicago Police Department lists Chicago’s murders. Says CPD director of news affairs Marty Maloney: “He died as a result of injuries suffered in an automobile accident.”

Kassandra Castillo, 18

Before daybreak on July 21, 2013, Franklin Park resident Castillo, who had recently graduated from East Leyden High School, and another woman were sitting in a parked car near the 3700 block of West Belden Avenue in Logan Square. Four people came up to their car. An argument broke out.

Someone in the group outside the car sprayed pepper spray into the vehicle, prompting Castillo and her friend to speed off. As they did, they crashed into two parked cars. Castillo died shortly afterward at the hospital.

Jacqueline Reynolds, 56

Reynolds, a church volunteer, was in her blue Pontiac on May 8, 2013, when an SUV slammed into the car at high speed. The SUV, a Chicago Police vehicle, was chasing an alleged armed burglar at the time. Reynolds didn’t survive. An accident, according to her death certificate.

Other cops caught the alleged burglar, a 22-year-old former football player named Timothy Jones. In February 2015, a jury convicted Jones as Reynolds’ murderer. The city’s public data portal lists this incident only as an armed robbery with a handgun. “In this incident,” Maloney says, “the victim died as a result of a traffic accident.”

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