Our hearts are breaking right now.
Earlier this week, it was reported a Chicago-based special needs teenager was tortured for hours by four peers who broadcasted the disturbing beatdown on Facebook live.
Now, family members of the 18-year-old victim are speaking out, and it appears the tortured teen had looked up to one of his attackers as a friend.
Janet Grant said her nephew will be mentally scarred by the 6-hour abuse where he was bound, beaten, cut, burned, and forced to drink from a toilet.
His captors — Brittany Covington, 18; her sister Tanisha Covington, 24; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; and Jordan Hill, 18 — have all been charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery, and a hate crime.
What’s even worse is that Hill (above, insert) reportedly went to school with the victim for several years, and the special needs teen considered him a friend.
Speaking to DailyMail.com, Grant explained:
“[The victim] just keeps saying, ‘Why, why? Jordan was my friend. He’s been my friend for a couple of years├óΓé¼┬ª They went to school together, they both had problems. He adores Jordan. I don’t know Jordan but [the victim] really liked him. It’s one thing if they didn’t know each other but [the victim] idolized him.”
So incredibly sad.
Grant said things have been “terrible” for the family since the ordeal, as the teen may never mentally recover from the harrowing events. She added:
“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├óΓé¼┬ª he’ll always be looking over his shoulder. Probably won’t trust anybody.”
Grant didn’t know of any connection Hill had to the other three teens accused, and was unsure if any family members would attend their first court appearance on Friday afternoon.
The family had last heard from the teen on New Year’s Eve after dropping him off at a McDonald’s close to his home, where Jordan picked him up. Grant continued:
“His mom didn’t like him hanging out but [he] would say, ├óΓé¼╦£that’s my friend, that’s my friend.’ He looked up to Jordan. [He] thought he was cool. I think he was one of the popular ones at school.”
In a press conference on Thursday, the victim’s brother-in-law David Poyd said:
“He’s doing well, as well as he could be at this time. We are so grateful for all the prayers and efforts that led to the safe return of our brother…. This should never happen.”
Grant said the victim’s father was too devastated to speak at the news conference but was deeply touched by the outpouring of support. As for the violent foursome, Grant wants to simply just ask them, “Why — just why?”
A GoFundMe account has been set up with a goal of raising $10,000 for the victim — and has gone well past $55,000!
Our hearts go out to the victim and his family as he recovers from this brutal experience.