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Hadiya Pendleton's Parents to Chicago Police: 'Thank You'

By Jen Sabella | February 12, 2013 11:54am | Updated on February 12, 2013 12:55pm

CHICAGO — The parents of slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton expressed relief after police announced charges Monday in their daughter's murder.

In an interview with NBC Chicago, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel Pendleton thanked the Chicago Police Department, police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel for reaching out to them after Hadiya, 15, was killed Jan. 29.

"Rahm Emanuel has been phenomenal, McCarthy has been phenomenal and I know that all the necessary efforts were put forth on trying to reach some resolve, so I'm very happy to hear they've apprehended these two criminals," said Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton.

The alleged killers — Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20 — were charged in the murder of Hadiya, who was killed a week after attending President Barack Obama's inauguration with the King College Prep school band, police said.

Sources told DNAinfo that Mayor Rahm Emanuel personally called Hadiya's parents when the two were arrested.

"Kudos to Chicago PD," Nathaniel Pendleton told NBC. "You all did a great job. You guys worked close with us. You kept us involved. Thank you."

The slain teen's mother said she hopes to see Williams and Ward "convicted to the fullest extent of the law" and vowed to be in court "every day."

First lady Michelle Obama attended Hadiya's funeral over the weekend, and invited her parents to the State of the Union address Tuesday night.