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Caregiver company responds to employee’s murder charge

The caregiver company that briefly employed Frederick Walker has released a statement, responding to Walker’s charge of murder in the death of James Kerrigan, the Homewood resident he was assigned to help.
Homewatch CareGivers of Hickory Hills sent a formal statement via email to the Chronicle saying Walker, 23, was hired on Feb. 4. It says his last day of employment was Feb. 13. The franchise company’s 95th Street office in Hickory Hills is less than three miles from Walker’s home in Justice.
“This has come as a complete shock and we are deeply concerned by and aware of the charges that have been filed against Frederick Walker. Our thoughts are certainly with the family, and our hearts are heavy,” the statement says. 
“Mr. Walker, a caregiver who previously passed our comprehensive background check in compliance with the state of Illinois requirements, is no longer employed by Homewatch CareGivers of Hickory Hills,” the statement says.
Walker had been assigned to provide post-surgery assistance to 78-year-old Kerrigan, and visited his home as scheduled on two occasions, according to the State’s Attorney.
“Caregiving services provided by Homewatch CareGivers of Hickory Hills to Mr. Kerrigan had ended before Feb. 13, at which point Frederick Walker was no longer contracted as a caregiver for Mr. Kerrigan,” says the statement from Homewatch CareGivers of Hickory Hills.
Homewood Police Department Deputy Chief Denise McGrath said on Feb. 14, Kerrigan called 9-1-1 to report his wallet had been stolen from his home in the 1000 block of 185th Street. Kerrigan named Walker as the perpetrator. 
According to the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office, Walker told police he went to Kerrigan’s home that day to get his client’s signature on a time sheet. That case is still under investigation.
On Feb. 20, police say Walker returned to Kerrigan’s home once more, stabbed the man repeatedly with a serrated kitchen knife, set fire to the home and then fled. Kerrigan died of his wounds, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner.
McGrath said on Feb. 23, Walker requested to go into Homewood Police Station for an interview, and later arrived with an attorney. According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, during questioning Walker admitted to setting the fire but denied killing Kerrigan.
Homewatch CareGivers said it is cooperating with Homewood police. 
Walker has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond with Cook County Department of Corrections.
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