Deerfield police believe they have found the vehicle involved in a hit-and-run crash that left a 12-year-old boy seriously injured last week.
Authorities said Wednesday the suspected vehicle was located and is "being processed for items of evidentiary value." A person of interest is also being interviewed, police said.
The 12-year-old boy who was hit by the vehicle remains in critical condition following the crash, which took place just after 7 p.m. Friday near Deerfield Road and Beverly Place.
The child's father made a public plea on Monday for the driver who struck the boy to come forward.
"We understand this was an accident," said Thad Thompson outside of Lurie Children's Hospital. "A big part of the reason we need you to come forward, we need help with insurance. If you don’t come forward, Chase’s future medical bills will be a lot more difficult for us to handle."
Thompson said his son, Chase, who has autism and is non-verbal, managed to get out of the family's home Friday evening near the intersection of Deerfield Road and Beverly Place. He ran into Deerfield Road, Thompson said, and was struck. The driver fled the scene.
The crash happened in a matter of seconds outside their home, Thompson said.
Thompson said Chase is "still touch and go," and the family is "hoping and praying" for his recovery. The crash left Chase with severe facial injuries, broken bones and very bruised lungs, he said.
"We do understand this was an accident and you made a massive mistake in a moment of fear," Thompson said Monday in a message to the driver. "We can forgive them. To prove that to you, we’ll put our money toward your defense. We want you to turn yourself in."
Officials previously said they believed the vehicle involved was a dark-colored 2013-2016 Ford Escape with an SEL or Titanium trim package. The vehicle may have extensive damage to the passenger side headlight assembly, fender and grill, according to police.
"You’re wasting a lot of people’s effort," Thompson said, pleading for the driver to come forward. "You can clear your own conscious and help our son and help us and help a lot of other people if you just come forwards. Please. We are begging you."
Thompson described Chase as a "very, very sweet boy" who he loves more than anything in the world. Chase doesn't understand language, Thompson said, and because of his autism, "every surgery will require general anesthesia."
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Deerfield Police Department at 847-945-8636.