Caesar Muloki's family knew something was wrong late in the afternoon when the he hadn't come home.
"I saw it on TV and I was wondering who it was," said Sarah Muloki, the victim's sister.
Soon after that, police told them the devastating news.
Caesar had been hit and killed by a NJ Transit train on his way home from Hackensack Middle School, less than a mile away.
"He was a really, really good boy," said Prescilla Muloki, the victim's sister.
Police believe Caesar was walking along the tracks on Railroad Avenue. They say he had headphones on and was listening to his iPod.
With his back to the train, police believe he didn't see it coming.
At the last minute, they say Caesar took a step into the path of the train.
But there are conflicting accounts of what happened.
One witness told Eyewitness News that he saw the young boy running along the tracks and then try to cross in front of the train.
Something one neighborhood resident says other kids do all the time.
"I see them a lot running across trying to beat the train," the resident said.
"Some neighborhood residents say it's time for a fence.
Too many kids are going to and from school across the tracks.
"We need to fight for a fence, we need a fence up here. These kids are just walking across the tracks," a resident said.
None of that matters now to this family.
His sisters wipe tears from their eyes as they remember their 12-year-old brother.
"He was so happy because he was in eighth grade and he couldn't wait to come to high school with me," his sister said.
Muloki would have turned 13 years old on October 2nd.