The family of a missing man had their worst fears realized Friday, when medical examiners identified a body found inside a car in the parking lot of a grocery store in Fallbrook Thursday night.
Deputies and fire officials were called to the parking lot of an Albertson’s supermarket in the 1100 block of South Mission Road around 7:15 p.m.
When officials arrived, they found the body zipped up in a sleeping bag inside a 1997 Toyota 4Runner. Deputies said the death looked suspicious in nature.
The medical examiner identified the body as 24-year old Alvin Bulaoro. Thursday night, a family member told NBC 7 that the Toyota Forerunner belonged to Alvin. He had been missing since Dec. 21.
His family was at the scene in Fallbrook Thursday night and, at one point, his mother was seen
NBC 7 spoke with Alvin's family on Friday. They shared details about Alvin's life growing up in a family of Filipino immigrants.
Alvin was enlisted in the Navy for 4 years. He worked as a human resources officer at Camp Pendleton, helping Marines with pay, benefits and housing issues.
During that time, he got his bachelor's degree. After leaving the Navy, he became a lieutenant in the Army.
He returned from training in Texas in November and was set to participate in a ceremony for his commission on Jan 12 in Los Angeles.
"He told me, 'Mom you're going to be very proud of me,'" said his mother Josephine Bulaoro in tears. Alvin told her a general from Washington DC was scheduled to be at the ceremony.
The family asks anyone with information about the crime to contact police.
"I want justice for my son," said his mother.
Bulaoro’s brother told NBC 7 the family had hired a private investigator to search for Bulaoro. The private investigator is the person who told the family that Bulaoro’s car had been spotted in the Albertson’s parking lot.
Bulaoro’s brother went to the lot, found the car and called authorities.
Meanwhile, Albertson’s customers coming and going from the parking lot were shocked to hear of the deadly discovery.
One customer, Valerie Soto, said she remembers seeing the car in the parking in the early hours of New Year’s Day. She said she remembers it because it was one of the only cars in the parking lot.
“Now since we just found the truck had a body in it I wish I would have done more,” Soto told NBC 7.
Sgt. Yates said officials do not know how long the car had been in the parking lot because they received information the vehicle had been located here about a week ago and more recently outside of San Diego County.