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Local News

Family shocked at account of Joslyn Woods’ slaying

Bond set at $5 million for suspect in killing at Evergreen Terrace

JOLIET – Family and friends described the young woman stabbed to death Wednesday as caring, outgoing and dedicated to what she wanted.

Joslyn Woods, 20, was “extremely curious, independent, resourceful and determined,” her mother, Kathryn Hatcher, said Thursday. “Those were her best qualities and her worst qualities. I wanted her to use her powers for good.”

Laura Edler-Hill, a friend of the family, who Woods called her “aunt” on her Facebook page, said she volunteered hair and makeup services earlier this year to students unable to afford them while attending prom.

Edler-Hill was among those who attended a bond hearing Thursday for Drumaine S. McKinley, the man accused of killing Woods in a laundry room at Evergreen Terrace, 363 N. Broadway.

Family and friends had difficulty reconciling their memories with allegations made at the bond hearing by the man suspected of killing her that the pair had met at Evergreen Terrace for sex. Neither Woods nor McKinley lived at the housing complex.

Assistant Will County State’s Attorney Peter Wilkes said about 6:30 a.m., Woods was found face down, covered in blood with multiple stab wounds to her chest in a laundry room at Evergreen Terrace.

“A knife was found near the body and bloody footprints were coming from the laundry room to the exit,” Wilkes told Judge Roger Rickmon.

Surveillance video shows McKinley arrived at the housing unit at 6:15 a.m. and Woods arrived five minutes later.

While the two engaged in sexual activity, McKinley hit Woods and pushed her into a wall before getting on top of her and stabbing her, Wilkes said. Joliet police said neither McKinley nor Woods had a visitor’s pass for the complex.

Evergreen Terrace is a federally subsidized and privately owned apartment complex for low-income residents. The complex includes a security station, and management has a policy requiring passes for any visitors.

Through a spokeswoman, Evergreen Terrace management declined Thursday to answer questions about “an ongoing investigation.”

McKinley allegedly called 911 and said his girlfriend had been stabbed and he’d gotten covered in blood trying to help before hanging up without giving more information. Police used surveillance video and canine units to discover a bloody shirt in a garbage can at Cass and Ottawa streets and other clothing at the Metra station, according to Wilkes.

When McKinley was found by police hiding behind his mother’s home in the 1400 block of Washington Street a few hours later, he said he “didn’t mean to hurt her that bad,” according to Wilkes.

McKinley was questioned by detectives and said he’d gone out drinking with his wife and another couple the night before and was dropped off at Harrah’s Casino, Wilkes told Rickmon.

McKinley allegedly told police he’d then answered an online advertisement and arranged to pay a woman for sex early that morning. McKinley claimed after the encounter began in the laundry room, Woods asked for more money and pulled out a knife when he refused, according to Wilkes.

Edler-Hill began shaking and buried her face in her hands as the prosecutor summarized McKinley’s explanation of why they’d been in the laundry room.

“I don’t believe it,” she said later. “That doesn’t sound at all like anything she would do.”

Hatcher and Woods’ father, Thomas Woods, said they didn’t know why their daughter was meeting McKinley.

“She may have known him socially, but he wasn’t a boyfriend or friend I knew,” Hatcher said.

Woods attended Joliet West and Central High Schools and held a cosmetology degree. Thomas Woods said Joslyn’s career goal was to eventually operate a salon with her older sister.

“She’d only been working at a hair salon in Romeoville for about eight weeks, but her personality made such an impact they closed for the day out of respect and asked a grief counselor to come in for the staff,” Hatcher said Thursday.

“She would give you the shirt off her back. She really would,” Thomas Woods said.

Edler-Hill said Woods always tried to take care of her family and was protective of her three younger sisters.

“She was over 18, but she was still a kid. She had goals and dreams. She was loved by so many people,” Edler-Hill said.

Rickmon set McKinley’s bond at $5 million, but his parole on drug and weapons convictions would likely be revoked before he could post that amount.

“Could you tell me if my family is out there?” McKinley asked Rickmon via video from the county jail, which brought shouts of profanity from some in the courtroom. “I guess that answers that question,” he then said.

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