DETROIT, Mich. (FOX 2) - The family of a 23-year-old who was found shot, burned and dumped in a field in 2018 is still seeking answers on this horrific crime.
"My son was with me a few days prior. He left home saying he was really worried and something was gonna happen to him and that I was going to find him in the morgue. I just did not know how to respond to that as a parent. So, I told him everything was gonna be okay and we were gonna deal with this as a family," said the victim's mom.
She was in communication with her son and at some point, that would stop. The next time she'd heard anything about her son was from the news.
FOX 2: "That is really heavy to tell your mom you might find me in the morgue. What was he afraid of?"
Ayala's mom: "He didn't really say. He never really told me. I know when he did leave with his car, he was staying somewhere where he felt like he could get protection and his car went missing at the place he was staying. A couple of days before the 29th, I even picked him up and I begged him to come back home. He was in a good mood, he said everything was going to be okay and that he was coming back soon. On the evening of the 26th, his whole tune changed again and he was scared."
Roberto Ayala Jr. was found dead on Oct. 30, 2018. His body was burning in a vacant field at 23rd and Polar Street in southwest Detroit.
Before his death, strange things were happening while he was in communication with his family.
Ayala's mom: "He said mom, stop messaging me because they're reading my phone. They can see my messages."
FOX 2: "And he never alluded to who might be after him or what this was about?"
Ayala's mom: "No and also my daughter called him on video messenger that very same day but it was earlier and a guy answered the phone. He had some sort of gun with a laser beam light on it. He answered my sons phone on video and then he hung up."
FOX 2: "Did investigators ever figure out where he was shot, where his body might've been burned, and when it was dumped?"
Ayala's mom: "That is like my biggest challenge ever…"
She says getting answers have been hard and that's what she needs now for herself, for her family, and Roberto's son.
"At least if I know who's responsible and they're no longer walking the streets like a free man, it would give me some closure. It wouldn't give me peace, it would give me closure and it would allow me to go on with my life."
Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 award for any information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information can make an anonymous tip at 1(800)Speak-Up or at 1800speakup.org.