An autistic, Illinois 18-year-old was stabbed to death in the hotel room in which he lived with his mother since last December.
Brandon Porter-Young, a high school senior, was beloved by staff and students at his Chicago school.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Porter-Young was home alone on Friday night at the Jr Plaza Hotel II. He was found dead at 10:00 p.m. with multiple stab wounds to his upper body.
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) February 6, 2018
His principal at Whitney Young High School, Joyce Dorsey Kenner, told the newspaper that she was afraid Porter-Young may have opened the door for the person who killed him.
The Sun-Times reports that Porter-Young had learning disabilities and had “a profound issue with intellectual capacity.” His special education teacher, Corryne Irvin, confirmed that his verbal skills were limited due to his disability, and he had difficulties communicating with individuals he didn’t know.
School community members will remember Porter-Young as a handsome and quiet student who enjoyed gardening and music. He also loved to play basketball; in fact, he was a member of a Special Olympics basketball team.
Porter-Young also participated in the high school’s “Best Buddies” program, in which general education students are paired with students from the special education program. Porter-Young’s Best Buddy partner, Rowan Broderick told the Sun-Times that she and her friend, whom she called “a really sweet person,” spent many hours hanging out in the cafeteria.
The teen’s former teacher, Rebecca Folkerts, described him as a responsible student who had a “great sense of humor.” She said that he was “extremely bright” and was looking forward to getting a job following his graduation this year.
Principal Kenner recalled that the teen “always had a smile on his face.”
The school’s art department is in the process of creating a floral tribute to Porter-Young, memorializing the sweet boy who was a friend to everyone — and loved gardening.
Police have not yet found the individual responsible for Porter-Young’s death.