Vigil held for 11-year-old Hoffman Estates boy

April 22, 2012 8:28:27 PM PDT
A neighborhood vigil is held tonight for an 11-year-old Hoffman Estates boy after family members say they found Allan Fernandez dead near his home with a puncture wound to the chest.

The medical examiner says the wound does not appear to be from a gun.

Nearly everyone who lives in the small Hoffman Estates subdivision was in attendance offering support and prayers for the Fernandez family. Most everyone knew 11-year-old Allen, or AJ, and his sudden death is difficult for them to understand.

"The loss of a child is very, very difficult to take," said neighbor Aashish Patel. "The other piece also goes with explaining to our kids."

Authorities found the boy in a forest preserve area behind his house yesterday afternoon. He was unconscious and not breathing.

He was also reportedly bleeding from a puncture injury to the chest. Investigators combed through the woods today looking for evidence in what at this point they are calling a death investigation.

"There's no cause for alarm," said Sgt. Darin Felgenhauer of the Hoffman Estates Police.

"I'm pretty sad about the whole thing," said family friend Tony Gumaboa. "I don't know anything about it. I was just surprised that these things happen."

Family friends say they have no idea what happened to Fernandez. They say he was a smart, active 5th grader who loved walking his dog through the neighborhood. Nearly everyone here knew him and they are all coming together tonight.

"One big family," said neighbor Dr. Gaura Patel. "It doesn't matter what race or religion. We're all just one big family."