FALLBROOK, California – An open casket at the final wake was the first time the Bulaoro family had seen their eldest son Alvin, since he went missing late last month.
Alvin was found two weeks later, dead and with trauma on his body. His body was discovered zipped up in a sleeping bag in his sports utility vehicle which was abandoned at a shopping center parking lot.
Over a hundred friends and family, some dressed in their military uniforms, attended the viewing where in Bulaoro was dressed in US Army reserved uniform.
“Sobrang sakit po. Parang hindi pa kami paniwala. Wala pa rin. Parang nightmare. You want to wake up. It's just a bad day. It's like that,” said his brother, John Bulaoro.
The family is still trying to make sense of what happened to an awarded veteran who had no known enemies.
During the day of mourning which included a mass, Bulaoro, an active army reservist, received a posthumus promotion to 1st lieutenant, an honor he was suppose to receive last week.
County Homicide detectives told Balitang America that the case is still under investigation, but could not elaborate any further.
The family will fly Alvin's remains back to Antique where he was born and raised before he left for the US in 2007.