Family and friends of Elias Valdez will say their final goodbyes this week as the teenager is laid to rest.
Valdez, 15, died during surgery Aug. 5. after he was found with a stab wound to his chest, according to Glenview police. He was a rising sophomore at Glenbrook South High School.
Glenbrook South principal Lauren Fagel sent an email to families Monday with information about the funeral arrangements.
“Please keep the Valdez family in your thoughts during this most difficult time,” she wrote. “If you would like emotional support, please reach out to your counselor. We are here for our students, staff, and parents every step of the way.”
The visitation will take place 3-8 p.m. Thursday at Ahlgrim Funeral Home, 201 North Northwest Highway, Palatine. Only 50 people will be allowed inside at once, according to Fagel.
A funeral service will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at the same funeral home, followed by a processional to St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum in Palatine.
As of Tuesday, police said the investigation is ongoing and declined to comment further.
An autopsy of Valdez determined that he died of a stab wound to the chest, and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
A piece of yellow police crime tape is strewn across the front yard of a home along the 1200 block of Greenwood Road on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 in Glenview. Elias Valdez, 15, was found stabbed nearby two days prior and later died in a local hospital, and his death was ruled a homicide. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)
Valdez, of the 10400 block of Dearlove Road, was found lying in a grassy area in the 1200 block of Greenwood Road shortly after 7 p.m. on Aug. 5, police said in a news release. The area is a patch of tall grass between a subdivision, a few homes and a water pumping station.
A passerby called 911, police spokesman Sgt. Jim Foley said. A bike was found near the spot Valdez was found, but Foley declined to comment on its relation to the incident.
Valdez was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, but died in surgery at 8:52 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office and police.
Glenbrook South offered support services to students and staff in person and through Zoom on Friday. About a dozen students showed up at the school to utilize in-person services, according to Superintendent Charles Johns.
In an earlier message Fagel wrote to families announcing the loss of Valdez, she described the student as “a kind, charismatic young man who exhibited great leadership qualities.” She said he loved his mom and family and that he had an “endearing spirit.”
“The many adults who worked with Elias appreciated his devotion to his family, his kindness to others and his ability to quickly make friends and make others feel welcome,” she wrote.
She also said Valdez had joined the wrestling team in the previous school year. His coaches, in a statement provided by the school, said they recognized natural ability, drive and work ethic in him.
Valdez’s death marks the first time since 2004 the village has had a homicide, Foley said. Steven L. Zirko was charged with murdering his companion, Mary Lacy, 38, and her mother, Margaret Ballog, 60, in Lacy’s Glenview home on Dec. 13, 2004.
The North Regional Major Crimes Task Force is actively investigating the crime.