Niece Of Murdered Army Vet Pens Letter Asking Anyone With Info To Contact VCSO

By on November 15, 2017 in WNDB News

Deltona, FL – The niece of Carlos Cruz, the army veteran who was shot and killed in Deltona on Saturday, sent a letter to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in which she urges anyone with information about the murder to share it with investigators.

Maria Peralta, Carlos Cruz’s niece who lives in Boston, Mass., wrote:

“This past week, my uncle was murdered by someone he was trying to help. Our family has been shaken by this incredibly painful loss. It all feels painfully unreal.

Carlos Cruz-Echevarria was many things to many people. He was a small business owner who had high standards for his work. He was an animal lover and raised the most beautifully delicate exotic birds. He was what someone from my generation would call “a maker.” He was a loving husband who wanted his family to be happy and healthy. He liked getting to know people. I don’t think there’s anyone he couldn’t strike up a conversation with. He was the kind of person you’d imagine when you think of what a good neighbor should be. He was always helping someone out with something. He’d drop whatever he was doing to help if you asked. He was the kind of man I hope my son one day grows into.

Our family has lost a man who made this world and this life so much more rich and beautiful just for being himself. We lost Carlos well before we should have, because he was doing what came natural to him: helping out when he saw a need. If you know anything about what happened to our loved one, this includes anything that led up to or anything relevant that occurred after his murder, please share that information with the law enforcement investigators. We want to understand what happened and why. Please help if you know anything about what happened.

-Maria Peralta”

Carlos Cruz was found dead of a gunshot wound beside a vehicle at the intersection of Malaga Ave. and Puritan St. just before 8 PM on November 11. Detectives believe that Cruz heard the suspect having car trouble near his home on Puritan St., so he offered to help. The suspect’s vehicle, which was stolen, was stuck in a ditch and Cruz would have been able to pull it out with his truck. VCSO says that Cruz was shot to death and his truck was stolen.

VCSO is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.

If you have any information on the case, you are urged to call 386-248-1777 to reach the VCSO Communications Center and speak to a dispatcher. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS, on the web at, or via the app available for download at the website. VCSO is now offering a $10,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest and conviction.

For earlier reporting, click here.

(Photo of Cruz courtesy VCSO)

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.


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