Lucas' parents: Memorial for boy will be open to public

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -- The parents of Lucas Hernandez say a memorial for their son is still in the works, but will be open to the public.

Jonathan Hernandez and Jamie Taylor-Orr released a statement through a representative overnight.

They say they've collected many of the items that were left at the bridge where his body was found last month, and plan to display those mementos as part of his memorial service.

They asked the public to put fundraising efforts on hold as they plan his memorial.

In the statement, Lucas' parents said they want to "focus on laying him to rest in a manner that celebrates his short time on this earth," then work with the community to memorialize their beautiful child.

They say they will make an announcement about services once they finalize a few more details.

Read the entire statement below.

Many people in the community are reaching out to us, looking for a way to honor our beloved son. We are deeply touched by all those who are mourning and looking for a way to show how much Lucas has come to mean to them, but at this time we are asking for the public to put fundraising efforts on hold. We NEED this time to plan our child’s goodbye. We want to focus on laying him to rest in a manner that celebrates his short time on this earth. Afterwards, there will be plenty of time to work with the community and memorialize our beautiful child.

Shortly after Lucas was found, our family asked a friend to be our spokesperson and representative to the press and public. We were in a deep state of shock, and honestly did not know how to interact with anyone. While our world will never, ever be the same, we have come to realize that being a voice for our child is part of the healing process. We truly appreciate all the efforts that have been made to shield us in our grief. It gave us a few precious days to come to terms with the enormity of our loss. Jonathan and I are still reeling and learning how to live this new life without Lucas. We were never prepared to face this loss and we will probably make many mistakes as we go down what is sure to be a long, dark road. We just ask that you all be patient with us, give us time to grieve and help us ensure Lucas’ legacy is one filled with hope and kindness, not darkness and evil.

We have been out to Lucas’ site and removed some of the items. These include deflated balloons and most of the stuffed animals that were placed out near the bridge by the public. We would like everyone to know that we plan on leaving the rest of the items out at the site until June 24. On that day, we will collect nearly everything in order to display it at Lucas’ Memorial Service, which will be open to the public. We want to preserve and protect all the beautiful things so many left to honor our child. We will be making an announcement regarding Lucas’ services as soon as we finalize a few more details.

Thank you for your support,
Jamie Taylor-Orr and Jonathan Hernandez