"I talked to him last night. To wish him -- today is his birthday -- I wished him a happy birthday," said Jana Hernandez.
But Hernandez had no idea that would be her last conversation with the neighbor.
"He was like a son to me," Hernandez said.
She's know the victim, now identified as 38-year-old Eloy Montemayor, for years. Hernandez says she was home this morning when, "Somebody from over here came banging on my door."
Houston police say it was another neighbor, concerned about Montemayor, who suffers from diabetes. That other neighbor found the door unlocked and discovered Montemayor's body lying on the floor inside his home on Sparks Street.
"We think he was assaulted with some type of weapon, maybe blunt force trauma," said Houston Police Sgt. Thaddeus Pool.
Police say Montemayor hosted a birthday cookout at his house last night to celebrate both his and his mother's birthday.
"It was just immediate family and a couple of friends from the neighborhood, i mean maybe 15 people," said Adrian Hernandez.
Authorities say the party cleared hours later, and a friend left him home alone with two other people.
"He was last seen alive around 2 this morning with a couple people of interest," said Sgt. Pool.
Investigators are not revealing the identities of those persons of interest.
Police say further investigation determined a 1998 red Ford F-150 extended cab pickup truck with Texas license plates BLT-1038 was stolen from the residence.
Anyone with information in this case, on the identity of the two Hispanic males, or on the whereabouts of the Ford pickup truck is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
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