FOX 32 NEWS – The entire ordeal started when a special-needs teen met up with a friend at a suburban McDonald’s.
The meeting was supposed to lead to a sleepover, at least that’s what the victim’s parents believed. But it turned into a horrifying situation.
On Thursday, the family held a press conference in Crystal Lake and said the 18-year-old victim is doing as well as can be expected.
The entire family has seen the video and they said they were in disbelief that this was their loved one.
“We’re so grateful for all the prayers and efforts that led to the safe return of our brother. We’re fully aware of the charges being brought against the offenders. At this time we ask for continued prayers for all those involved, for our family’s privacy as we cope and heal,” said David Boyd, the victim’s brother-in-law.
Chicago police said the 18-year-old victim, who has a mental disability, went to a school in Aurora with one of the men charged, Jordan Hill. Hill picked up the victim at a McDonald’s in Schaumburg on New Year’s Eve in what police now say was a stolen van.
The family eventually received text messages informing them that their son was being held captive.
Now that the victim is home safe, the family is feeling the impact the videos are having outside of their inner circle.
“We appreciate all of the support from everyone. We haven’t spoken to anyone but each other. But, we’ve read what’s out there and we really appreciate it,” Boyd said.
The family kept their reaction brief, but ended with a message being echoed by anyone who has seen the disturbing treatment of the young man.
“This should never have happened,” Boyd added.
Many people across Chicago and the country agree. A GoFundMe was started to raise money for the victim. It set out to raise $10,000 and it is now at $22,000 and counting.
The family expressed their gratitude to the Streamwood and Chicago police departments.
The victim’s family has not decided whether they will appear in bond court on Friday.