Rolling Meadows High School held a memorial Tuesday morning for a student killed while visiting family in Mexico two weekends ago. Classmates set up two Facebook pages, one of them asking students to wear red and bring pictures or notes to place on the locker of 18-year-old Alexis Marron.
Marron, a senior at the school, was in the Mexican state of Michoacán visiting his grandmother and other relatives for the Christmas holiday, family members in the Chicago area said.
Marron and two other family friends were driving to a town some 40 miles away from where the grandmother lived, in Quiringuicharo, when Mexican authorities said they were killed.
Friends said they learned of the incident on Christmas Eve.
"It's hard for everyone right now because he was such a nice kid," said classmate Brandon Leo last week. "It's brutal. It's sick. Why him? Why would these people do that to such an innocent young person?"
Marron's cousin, Daniela Zendejas, said she believed they were victims of a robbery that turned violent.
"They didn't want to give up their stuff so they killed them," Zendejas said. "Right now, it's a bad country to go visit. Me, as a Mexican, I'm embarrassed right now."
Officials at both the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said last week they were not aware of the slaying but would investigate.
No suspects are in custody, according to Mexican newspaper reports.