After the parents of a special needs man had reported their son missing to the Streamwood Police Department on January 2nd, they found themselves having to witness one of their worst nightmares in a now-deleted Facebook Live video.
Their son, whose identity is under protection, suffers from schizophrenia and a severe attention deficit disorder. He was kidnapped at a Chicago suburbs McDonald's on New Year's Eve by four teens, and was tortured for over six hours.
The victim was bound, beaten, sliced on his scalp, burned with cigarettes, and forced to drink from a toilet. One of the women charged, 18-year-old Brittany Covington, posted a Facebook Live video of herself and three others kicking the victim, pulling him up by his neck bindings, spitting on him, and flicking cigarette ash over the wound on his head. Someone is also heard yelling, “f*** Donald Trump, f*** white people.”
It can be seen, in part, below:
Police found the victim, reportedly wearing shorts in the dead of winter, walking around the neighborhood where he had been held. Police said he was extremely disoriented and traumatized, but eventually led officials to the scene of his torture, and pointed out the four suspects.
All four individuals have been arrested:
But as the victim is still unable to talk about the attack, he reportedly can only ask his family the same question over and over again.
Janet Grant, the victim's paternal aunt, told The Daily Mail that her nephew continues to ask why his friend that he idolized did this to him:
“[He] just keeps saying, 'Why, why? Jordan was my friend. He's been my friend for a couple of years.'”
Grant explained that one of the individuals charged with two hate crimes against her nephew, Jordan Hill, had gone to school with him for several years:
“They went to school together, they both had problems. He adores Jordan. I don't know Jordan but [my nephew] really liked him. It's one thing if they didn't know each other, but [my nephew] idolized him.”
[He] thought he was cool. I think he was one of the popular ones at school.'
Her nephew's mother reportedly never had a good feeling about the two getting together:
“His mom didn't like him hanging out but [he] would say, 'that's my friend, that's my friend.' He looked up to Jordan.”
On top of physically assaulting the victim, according to police, Jordan also sent victim's mother text messages demanding a $300 ransom to see her son again.
After his parents received the texts, they went to the police, and that's when the Facebook video was discovered.
Grant also told The Daily Mail how her nephew's situation made him even more vulnerable as a victim:
"He's got enough problems already. They put cigarette butts out on his head, cut a hole in his scalp. Once they took him to Chicago, he had no meds for four days. He couldn't even fight back.
How could a woman watch that? They thought it was going to make them popular – putting cigarette butts out on a kid with schizophrenia and ADD."
She continued to say how incredibly devastating this will prove for the rest of his life:
“Physically he'll heal but mentally… he'll always be looking over his shoulder. Probably won't trust anybody.”
The attack has affected the victim and his family so badly, that Grant doesn't think her nephew's father will be able to attend the defendants' first appearance hearing:
“I don't even know if my brother's going– everyone is having a hard time dealing with it.”
Lastly, Grant stated that at this point, it's the answer to just one question that matters to the family:
“It's not even about the punishment– just why?”
A GoFundMe page has set up to raise money for the victim and his family to “prove to him that there is far more good in this world than the evil he experienced.” Its original goal was $10,000, but people have given more than $82,000 to date.
According to the Cook County State Attorney's Office, all four defendants were charged with two counts of hate crimes, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery; three of them face charges of residential burglary.
Jordan Hill faces additional charges, as well.
During the Friday hearing, a Chicago judge denied all four individuals bond, labeling them as “a danger to society.” It's unclear whether the family attended the hearing.