Decorated war veteran murdered

September 3, 2008 6:53:29 PM PDT
A decorated soldier has been murdered. After serving two tours in Iraq, the Houston man was found dead over the weekend. His dog was also killed. It's a mystery to Christopher Mayo's family and police. Mayo was home from Iraq only four months. His family said Christopher was planning a future with his girlfriend. Instead, his heartbroken family is planning their son's funeral.

The Mayo family says their son fought for them and now it's their turn to fight for their son. They want to find out why their son died this past weekend so suddenly and so violently.

"It's not right to go fight over there, to give us freedom to live here, he comes home and gets killed here in his own city, his own home," said Christopher's father, James Mayo. "It's not right."

Mayo's body was found Sunday inside his car in a west Houston apartment parking lot. Authorities say Mayo had been shot in the head and his car set on fire. His dog, Boudreaux, was dead in the back seat, burned in the fire.

We were there when Mayo returned home from Iraq last year. He survived two tours of duty, combat and a rocket propelled grenade that narrowly missed his Hummer in Rhamadi.

"If they wanted to steal the car, why would they burn it," said James Mayo. "They didn't take his cell phone. They didn't take his mp3 player. He actually had a gun with him."

Mayo was living with his parents in their Pasadena home. His father says Christopher spent Saturday night at home, going out for a few minutes to buy cigarettes at the corner convenience store.

Mayo says his son went to bed around 2am. When James Mayo woke up Sunday morning around 8am, his son was gone.

Houston police called a couple hours later to say Christopher was dead. Investigators found Christopher's gun inside the burned car.

"I don't know why, being that he was Army trained and all that, why wouldn't he have been able to pull and use it if he had to, but he never took the gun out of the house," said James. "Just the one time that morning."

While the family waits for answers, they cling to better times, proudly showing their son's numerous service medals and accommodations.

"He didn't deserve what he got," said James. "He didn't deserve that."

We spoke with Houston police investigators, who say they have no answers yet. They believe Christopher may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Meanwhile, his family is working with the Army to bury their son with full military honors at the Veterans War Memorial in northwest Houston.

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