UPDATE: NYC family on quest for answers after son is fatally shot in Chile: What we know so far >>
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A 38-year-old Staten Island man who disappeared on a vacation in Santiago, Chile, was found shot to death, according to his family.
U.S. officials confirmed the death of Eric Garvin of Stapleton.
A source with close knowledge of the investigation told SIlive.com that the United States is “closely monitoring” local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death.
According to the Chilean news publication Chvnoticias and a Facebook post from his family, it is believed that Garvin was shot multiple times on Jan. 14, during a robbery. He had gone out to dinner alone, his family said.
He was just steps away from the Airbnb rental that he was staying in at the time, according to reports.
Garvin’s body then spent more than a week in the Legal Medical Service’s mortuary before being identified by his traveling companion, Chvnoticias reported.
The suspects remain at large, according to the report.
According to a missing persons flyer distributed by his family, Garvin was reported as missing to the Santiago Police Department and the U.S. Embassy Santiago on Jan. 17 by his travel companion.
The pair was scheduled to leave Chile for Argentina on Jan. 15. However, Garvin failed to check out of his hotel room and all of his personal belongings, including his wallet, passport, and luggage, were still inside the Airbnb rental.
Garvin was a city employee at the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.
“My condolences are with the family and friends of Eric Garvin,” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) said in a statement to the Staten Island Advance/SILive.com. “Eric worked in public service and this is a gut-wrenching tragedy for all who knew him. I will remain in contact with the family and with the United States State Department to pursue justice and to provide comfort and support to the Garvin family.”
In a post on Facebook, Garvin’s family said that he was an avid traveler, having been to more than 40 countries and was doing what he “loved to do.”
Garvin comes from a prominent Staten Island family. Marjorie Garvin, his grandmother, is a longtime advocate for Staten Island’s African American community who has been recognized by congress for her work to increase voter awareness. She is also a former Staten Island Advance Women of Achievement honoree.
Retired United States Air Force Colonel Eric Garvin, his father, attended Curtis High School and has since been honored as an Unsung Hero by the Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame for his work with Cross World Africa. CWA is a non-profit organization dedicated to making hope a reality for impoverished rural communities in Kenya’s Rift Valley and urban areas in Nairobi.
This is a developing story and further information will be posted as it becomes available.