The child died hours after he was found unconscious with a puncture wound to his chest in the woods behind his Hoffman Estates home. Authorities said a weekend autopsy was inconclusive, but officials said it was not a gunshot wound.
"It's pretty much forest preserve. There's a trail. Not a lot of people go back there," David Young, neighbor, said.
His friends and neighbors are grieving.
"I can't imagine what the family is going through. The loss of a child is the worst thing ever," Phyllis Gendola, neighbor, said.
"And at this point in our investigation we have nothing that indicates that this was nothing more than a tragic accident," Hoffman Estates Police Department spokesman Darin Felgenhauer said.
Fernandez was playing outside and when he hadn't been heard from for an hour, relatives started looking for him. The fifth-grader attended Timber Trails Elementary School, where classmates were met by grief counselors on Monday.
"It's really struck staff here, so we're struggling. We're gonna do our best to help the family, do our best to help those teachers and kids that are closest to him," said John Heiderscheidt, School District U 46.