Family of slain Deltona Army veteran searches for answers

By Brittany Jones, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017, 11:09 AM EST

It’s been a tough week for Carlos Cruz’s family. His hearse sat in front of the church where he’d been a member for years.

His niece and nephew say he was like a father to them.

“He was very much a person who would always show up,” said Maria Peralta, the victim’s niece.

“Besides my own father probably one of the best role models I’ve ever had,” said Manny Burgos, Cruz’s nephew.

Investigators believe Cruz heard the killer's vehicle having trouble near his Deltona home.

They allege that Cruz offered to help by bringing his truck to pull the car out, which turned out to be stolen.

After helping, investigators think the driver shot Cruz and stole his truck.

“He just knew when somebody needed help, (he) wouldn’t ask, would just step in and help, and unfortunately it cost him, but I’m happy he died with a greater cause,” Burgos said.

Cruz was around the corner from his home when he was killed here. Now a memorial with a cross, flags and flags sit here to remember him.

“All the time he would stop like if he saw a car on the side of the road he’d stop,” Burgos said.

He was married for more than 30 years, leaving behind his wife.

While the family is thankful for all of the support, there’s a $10,000 reward they hope will catch his killer

“If anybody has any more information about what happened, please share it,” Peralta said. “It would be (a) great gift to our family if we could know what happened at least.”