Mother of man found in car trunk says his apartment was ransacked

Body of Martin Gonzalez, 23, found in Universal City on Tuesday

SAN ANTONIO – A man whose body was found in the trunk of his car had his apartment ransacked, his mother said.

Carmen Vidales said Friday that one of her son's friends found Martin Gonzalez's apartment in the Medical Center turned inside out on Jan. 31.

Vidales said she found the apartment ransacked when she went to clean it four days later after he was reported missing. Universal City Police said they were aware of the claim, but haven't confirmed it.

Gonzalez's body was found Tuesday wrapped in the trunk of his car, which was parked in an apartment complex parking lot in the 500 block of Dukeway Drive in Universal City. A passerby noticed a strange smell coming from the car and called police.

Universal City police have not said how Gonzalez died, but they are investigating the case as a homicide.

"You feel like your heart is broken in half, like it's a complete nightmare happening to somebody else," Vidales said.

Vidales said police originally told her they believed the body was her son, but only confirmed it to her on Wednesday. Vidales said she was not surprised.

"He hadn't shown up here. He hadn't contacted me, asked about the kids," she said. "So when they told me, I already felt it. I already knew it was probably him."

Gonzalez had been at her home on Jan. 28, the night before he disappeared. Vidales said he was visiting his two young children who she shares custody.

The last time Vidales saw Gonzales was when he left her home that night. He hugged her goodbye and told her that he loved her.

"I'll just hold onto my last memory of him," she said. "He was happy."

Gonzalez was supposed to return the next day to take the kids to the park, she said. Vidales talked with her son on the phone, but he never showed up.

"When the week went by and I never heard from him, I knew something was wrong," Vidales said.

As she tries to deal with her loss, Vidales said that the hardest thing for her is not being able to see her son's body and say goodbye.

"They say he was badly decomposed, wrapped in a tarp," she said. "So that probably is not going to be possible."

Vidales said she will remember her son by looking at old photographs of him and when she spends time with her grandchildren.

"I'll hug them tight and I'll remember my son," she said.

Universal City police said they have received several tips and leads.

Anyone with information is asked to call them at 210-658-5353. 

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