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North Chicago Boy Found Dead Was Trying To 'Do Better'

(STMW) -- The 15-year-old North Chicago boy found dead in an alley in the city around 11 p.m. Wednesday night had recently transferred to the Waukegan school district to try and restart his school career, the Lake County News-Sun is reporting.

Travon Beech was going to turn around, according to his mother, Roxanne Beech. It was only in the last year or so that he had got into some trouble, but he realized he had to change.

"He was trying to get a fresh start," she said, "He was going to try and turn himself around and do better," she said. A rally is being held for him Saturday, April 19, in the 2300 block of Wallace Avenue, North Chicago.

On the advice of the Lake County State's Attorney's Office neither the North Chicago Police Department or the Lake County Coroner's office were releasing the name of the young man because he is a juvenile.

The Waukegan School District 60 sent letters out to students in the Alternative Option Education Center on Thursday to tell parents of the tragedy they and put their mental health team in place for students or teachers needing counseling.

The youth was found in an alley near 14th and Jackson streets, about 50 feet from a T-intersection of the alley.

Travon, an eighth-grader who had been attending Neal Math and Science Academy in North Chicago, loved basketball and football. Last month, he started in the Waukegan school district.

"He had a gift for football and in basketball," said his mother. "He had a lot of medals and trophies."

On the night of his death, he was on his way to an aunt's house.

"He was supposed to be going to his aunt's house and he never made it," Beech said. "The police came at seven in the morning and told me.

"I don't want people to think he was just a bad kid. Nobody's perfect. He was trying to get it together, he still could have had a bright future," she said.

Her son was part of the Chicagoland Youth Football League and in a game on Sept. 30, 2012, he was the North Chicago's team quarterback playing against the Waukegan team in the heavyweight division.

He also played on the Waukegan Stars age 12-under travel boys basketball team that returned from Cedar Falls, Iowa, in July 2011 as the age-group champions of the Mid-America Youth Basketball-sanctioned Summer Championships.

An autopsy by the coroner's office was completed, but the results are not being released.

Beech is upset police waited until 7 a.m. to tell her Travon was dead when he was found around 2 a.m. because "they knew who he was," she said.

"The police can't tell me nothing, can't tell me how he died. They need to get it together," she said. "There's a lot of murders that still ain't solved yet. My confidence in the police is not real high right now," said Beech.

"He had a lot of potential. He had something special. It's sad to see it all go to waste," she continued.

Travon is sruvived by siblings Ashley, 21, Tory, 20, Jasmine, 17, Javonta, 11, Joshua, 4, and Da-Riah, 18 months. His father is Ollie Washington and he also has a niece, Niakeriah, 5, and nephew, Jeremiah, 7.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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