EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Illinois State Police confirmed on Thursday that a woman was driving for Uber before her body was dumped in East St. Louis.
Officials stated that 49-year-old Harriet Childers' body was found in the street on the 1800 block of Gaty Avenue just after 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. The family told 5 On Your Side she lived in south St. Louis.
A close friend told us she gave her car a good clean before anyone saw her the night before for the last time.
The mother, who was also a full-time nurse at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, was getting ready to do her side gig as an Uber driver.
A hospital spokesperson said she was a "valued employee."
"We are deeply saddened to hear about the loss of a member of the SSM family," according to a statement released by the hospital. "Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with her family and friend at this difficult time."
"ISP investigators are working with Uber to fully investigate this incident," a state police spokesperson said.
According to Uber, almost three million trips took place each day in the United States between 2019 and 2020. The company said the vast majority, 99% of them, ended without any safety-related issue at all. This statistic is similar to their first report from 2017.
Riders have resources to help keep them safe inside the Uber mobile app safety tool kit such as:
- Share their location and trip status with family and friends
- Report a crash
- Swipe to call 911
- If the app detects an unexpected stop, crash or route deviation, then a team member will reach out to see if the driver need help
- Through the help menu, drivers can report issues, including those with riders.
Here is the company’s response to a media request from 5 On Your Side:
"We are devastated to hear of the loss of Harriett, and our thoughts are with her family during this heartbreaking time," the response stated. "We stand ready to support law enforcement with their investigation."
The ridesharing service also recently introduced a partnership with security company ADT, giving riders live help from a safety agent directly in their app.
Whether any of this will help solve Childers' case remains to be seen.
Nearly a week later, local or state police have not said how Childers was killed or if they have any suspects.
The East St. Louis Police Department provided the following statement:
"East St. Louis Police Chief Kendall Perry and Mayor Robert Eastern III, respectfully acknowledge a very tragic loss of life which recently occurred here in our City:
"On Saturday at approximately 6:38 a.m., August 27th, East St. Louis police units responded to a call of a person lying down on the street in the 1800 block of Gaty Avenue. Upon arrival, officers discovered a Black female who was unconscious and unresponsive. Med Star Ambulance Service and the St. Clair County Coroner’s Office’s personnel soon arrived and were unable to recover any signs of life from the victim. The victim, later identified as Harriett, Childers, 50 had suffered an apparent fatal gunshot wound. Please know that our hearts and prayers are extended to the family and friends of Ms. Childers at this difficult time.
"The Illinois State Police and East St. Louis Police Department are working jointly and are determined to find out what led to this unfortunate incident. Be advised, this investigation is active and ongoing, and we expect to provide an update as more information becomes available.
"Anyone with additional information regarding this matter, should contact the East St. Louis Police Detective’s Division at 618 486-6724"