Family, friends release balloons in memory of Lucas Hernandez

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Search groups and family members remembered Lucas Hernandez during a balloon release near Benton on Memorial Day.

Both of the boy's parents were at the release. Jonathan Hernandez thanked the search groups for looking for his son. Lucas' mom, Jamie Orr, was also there to pay tribute to her five-year-old son.

Nearly 100 people came out to launch the balloons, pray and remember Lucas at Andover Road and K-254, they say the spot is special to them.

A Newton grandma told KWCH her six-year-old grandson has followed Lucas' story since he disappeared. She brought him to the release, hoping it would bring him some closure.

Before the release, Jonathan Hernadez released a statement thanking those who helped search for, and ultimately find Lucas. He said, now, his focus is on laying his young son to rest.

Read the entire statement below.

"This is a hard thing to write. I held on hope that Lucas was still alive. The past 3 months have been full of so many different theories and ideas about where Lucas was that I still had hope. I now have to live with the knowledge that Lucas is gone.

I am not a perfect man and have made mistakes. My love for my children is the one thing that has always been most important thing to me. Judge me if you must but please don’t ever think I didn’t love my son.

I would like to thank everyone who helped since Lucas was first reported missing. WPD, TES and the many local searchers did a wonderful job. Thanks also to the many people and groups from across the country who helped keep Lucas’s face out there. It was amazing to see how many strangers came to love my boy.

I'm so thankful that David Washburn [sic] decided to take on Lucas's case and was able to help find answers quickly. He's an amazing man and a friend for life.

We as Lucas’s family must now focus on laying our sweet child to rest. I have no idea what the future will hold but it will be less bright without Lucas’s sweet smile. I love you with all my heart bubba!"