SAN ANTONIO – Mark Anthony Macias Jr., 25, was found dead Friday on the side of a rural road in South Bexar County after being shot several times.
Macias’s mother opened up about her son and what she thinks may have led to his death.
As soon as Macias was old enough, he joined the Army. He went straight from boot camp to Afghanistan.
"He was in combat, where he lost half of the battalion there. He couldn't understand why his friends didn't make it, and he did," said Elizabeth Pereyra, Macias’s mother.
Pereyra said her son came back home with post traumatic stress disorder.
"It was very difficult when he came back, definitely. The army changed him. He came back with some struggles,” she said. “He was overcoming them. He was doing great. He had enrolled in Brown Mackie College. He was trying to make himself better.”
Pereyra said what deployment never changed about her son was his compassion.
"He was the kind of person that if you were at the store and you asked him for money or you needed food, clothes or a home, he'd bring you home with him,” Pereyra said. “He'd feed you and clothe you and give you a room to help you get back on your feet. He was just a very trusting boy for anyone.”
Pereyra said sometimes, her son was too trusting and was taken advantage of.
"It wasn't always good people that he would help out," she said. "He would say, 'Mom, I let them stay here. They stole from me. I had to kick them out.’”
There is a makeshift memorial where Macias's body was found on Losoya Drive, near Spanish Grant Road. Pereyra said Macias knew the road like the back of his hand. It's where his grandfather's ranch was located, and he grew up going there.
Investigators told Pereyra they believe her son knew the person who shot him.
"Just the idea that it could be somebody who was staying with him, that he tried to help, that they would turn around and do this to him, whether it be for money or for any other reason," she said, crying.
Days after Macias’s death, Pereyra said someone broke into her son's house and stole everything.
"I guess when people realized that nobody was at his house, they went in,” Pereyra said. “They burglarized the house. They went through everything they could. The only thing that I had left was what was there. That was his, and now, it's all gone."
Macias’s possessions are gone, but Pereyra still has a piece of her son, his 4-year-old daughter.
"We tell her daddy is with Jesus now, but she will come back and say, 'Can I see my daddy later?' It's hard to tell her you're not going to see your daddy,” Pereyra said.
Pereyra hopes, for her granddaughter's sake, the public will call in any information they have.
"If they know who the last people he was seen with, even just the car he left in, if they knew the friends, just any information," Pereyra said.
Anyone with information about Macias's death — or where he was last seen — is asked to call the Bexar County Sheriff's Office at 210-335-2011.