Missing Vernon Hills Teen is a Runaway; Last Seen Near Stevenson High School

The family of Vernon Hills runaway Cristian Gonzalez is eager for him to return home safely as soon as possible.

VERNON HILLS, Ill. – Missing Vernon Hills teen Cristian Gonzalez, 13, of Vernon Hills was last seen near Stephenson High Schoool last night and is a runaway, according to family members. Police detectives reportedly also spotted the youth, though he fled on foot when spotted, according to family members.

The teen is friendly and outgoing, and has friends who reside in Hawthorn Woods as well as Vernon Hills.

“He can turn this around. We will find help for him. We have faith. He needs to come home,”

Aurora Gonzalez

According to Aurora Gonzalez, the teen’s mother, Cristian had undergone personality changes in May and had become aggressive and disrespectful to his parents after socializing with a new group of friends. Until recently, Cristian was active in sports at his school, particularly Wrestling and Track.

“Cristian knows he’s in trouble and doesn’t want to come back home,” said a tearfully emotional Aurora Gonzalez, “He thinks he has no family and is relying on his new friends.”

The family blames the group of new friends, however, not Cristian, for recently getting the youth into some hot water legally, and they believe he has been influenced by peer pressure to experiment with drugs.

“He is outgoing. He is friendly and helpful. Or at least he was, until the past few months,” Aurora said.

Cristian was said to be aggressive recently with his step-father, Noel Gonzalez. “His step-father doesn’t even fight back,” said a family member who wished to remain anonymous, “he doesn’t want to hit a child.”

The family has said they will do everything they can for him.

Still, Aurora has hope that her outgoing and athletic son will return soon to the people who love him and get through these troubled times unscathed.

“He can turn this around. We will find help for him. We have faith. He needs to come home,” Aurora said.

The family has said they will do everything they can for him.

By Margo Pelak

Margo Pelak is founder and managing editor of the Local Newsreader, which covers hyper-local news in Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich and Mundelein. She resides in Hawthorn Woods with her husband Dennis and two wild beasts named Ladybug and Juney P.