A Rolling Meadows High School senior was murdered over the weekend in Mexico while visiting family, authorities said Monday.
Although few details were available, local news reports say Alexis Marron, 18, and two other men were found dead in the trunk of a burned car in the Mexican state of Michoachan.
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A representative of the ministerial police of the city of Zamora, Michoacan, confirmed that a relative of Marron's said the youth is from the Chicago area. Marron was staying with relatives in the small town of Quiringüicharo, police said.
Neighbors in the Rolling Meadows apartment complex where Marron lived said the high school student had been visiting his grandmother in Quiringüicharo, located in central Mexico. They believe he was traveling alone.
Yolanda Ibanez, who said she's known Marron's family for 20 years, said Marron's mother traveled to Mexico after learning through a telephone call of his death.
"It's terrible for the mother," she said.
"He was a nice guy, a respectful guy," added Jasmine Ibanez, a classmate of Marron's. "He never did drugs. None of that. He was a simple guy."
The torched car and three bodies were discovered about 7 a.m. Saturday near the town of Ixtlan de Los Hervores, about 80 miles southeast of Guadalajara, according to a spokeswoman for the Procuradoria de Morelia, Michoacan.
The car belonged to one of the victims, a 24-year-old man whose sister told authorities her brother was giving Alexis a ride to go see his girlfriend, the spokeswoman said. The third man was 21, newspaper reports said.
It appears that the men were burned alive in the car, a ministerial police representative said. "From what their families say, they were not involved in any sort of trouble," police said.
The investigation is ongoing and there are no suspects, according to reports.
Officials at both the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said they were not aware of the slaying but would investigate.
Classmates of Marron have set up two Facebook pages in his memory, one of which calls for a memorial service to be held Jan. 3, when students return to classes from winter break. The site asks students to meet at 7:25 a.m. that day and bring photos or notes to place on Marron's locker.
Marron was mentioned in newspaper articles in 2010 for having been recognized as a high achiever in the 2010 National Spanish Examinations.
• Daily Herald staff writer Jessica Cilella contributed to this report.