The parents of a slain Wylie teen spoke exclusively with NBC 5 Tuesday about the death of their son.
After sharing a photo of their son Ivan Mejia dressed in his ROTC uniform, Flavio and Ana Mejia told NBC 5 their son had planned to join the Marine Corps after graduating from Wylie East High School this year; that's how his family said they want people to remember him.
Both parents are still distraught over his death, which police said came at the hands of two 16-year-old students who also attended Wylie East.
Even in their time of grief, the Mejia family is offering forgiveness to the other two families involved in the tragedy.
"They hold no grudge, they are actually offering forgiveness, even to those who participated in the crime," said family spokesman Benjamin Alicea.
Mejia's father said Ivan was preparing to graduate in May and was gearing up to take the physical this summer to join the Marines. Flavio Mejia said Ivan couldn’t wait to turn 18 to enlist.
Mejia's parents said Ivan was active in their church.
Alicea said those who were involved with Mejia at church called him a 'quiet leader.' "He was a unique young man, because he was always willing to help," said Alicea.
His parents said their faith is what’s giving them peace right now to help understand Ivan’s seemingly senseless slaying. The Mejias said Ivan is with God and his death is part of His plan.
Students React to Classmates Death
Students are leaning on the Wylie East High School family to cope.
“They're the strongest family you can get through tragedy with,” said Brooke Lopez, a senior at Wylie East High School.
But Lopez isn't so understanding of what prosecutors describe as a cold and calculated killing.
“They should be treated as adults. They made adult decisions. They went forward with it after premeditating it, and I believe they should be treated as such,” said Lopez.
Investigators said Mejia and one of the accused teen killers had been in a relationship with the same girl. Prosecutors argue the teen love triangle prompted the boys to choke Mejia, pinch his nose and stick a sock in his mouth until he could no longer breathe.
According to police, the teens' plan fell apart when officers caught them trying to bury Mejia's body in a creek off state Highway 78 in Garland, about 10 miles from the school.
Family of Accused Teen Is Devastated
Grant Goens represents the family of one of the boys accused in Mejia's death and says the boy's parents are distraught.
"This family wants people to know – this is a devastating thing that’s occurred for the entire community, not just for their family, the other family of the accused, or the young man that lost his life," said Goens. "We have three families that have just been destroyed by things that have occurred."
He says his clients had absolutely no knowledge of the son's potential involvement until they were notified by police.
'They love him and they’re going to do everything they can to support him – just like any family would their child," said Goens.
The juvenile's parents are asking for prayers for every family involved.
"They covet those prayers. And I would have to believe the other two families would also covet those prayers," said Goen.
The two teens suspected of killing Mejia remain in in custody at the Collin County Juvenile Detention Center.
Meanwhile, the Mejias said they’re making arrangements for their son's funeral.