Family Searching for Answers After N.Y. Lawyer, 38, Is Killed While Traveling in Chile

Eric E. Garvin was confirmed dead about a week after he was last seen traveling in Santiago, Chile

Eric Garvin
Eric E. Garvin. Photo: Facebook

A beloved New York City lawyer was shot dead while traveling in Chile and now his family is pleading for answers.

The parents of 38-year-old Eric E. Garvin said he went missing on Jan. 14 during his visit to Santiago, the country's capital city.

Little did they know, on Jan. 21, they'd receive the tragic news that their son was found by local police in a hospital morgue.

"This is the darkest chapter of our lives because we are living every parent's worst nightmare," the man's father, Eric D. Garvin, wrote on Facebook.

"What they told us is my son was innocently walking down the street, paused for a moment, took a snapshot of a building in a drug-infested area," the man told ABC 7 New York. "And immediately following that, three gentlemen came across the street grabbed my son and stole his phone and shot him three times and he died there on the scene."

The grieving father also said in the post how he and his daughter, Naomi, flew to Chile earlier this week to "begin our journey to justice and to bring Gene back home."

He said they were planning to meet with local authorities as well as the U.S. Embassy in Santiago to learn more about the horrific attack, which happened while Eugene was "doing what he loved to do."

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According to the post, Garvin had likely traveled to more than 40 countries.

Garvin received his J.D. from the University of Maryland in 2010 and previously worked for the Mayor's Office of New York City from 2016 to 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Eric Garvin
Eric E. Garvin. Facebook

He moved to Staten Island "to use his advocacy for those who are often not paid much attention to," his father told the news outlet, adding how his son worked on initiatives to reduce gun violence.

The office of New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams mourned Garvin's death on Twitter.

"Described by friends as a bright young man and committed public servant, Eric Garvin will be deeply missed by the Staten Island community and by the entire city," the tweet reads. "We send peace, love and light to his family in the wake of a devastating act of gun violence."

The victim's father said on Facebook he's appreciative of the abundance of love he and his family have received so far.

"The first few days we couldn't see any light in this tragic news, but today we are beginning to see a glimmer of light and hope," the man wrote. "Your prayers and your love are helping us see to the light again."

PEOPLE reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, but didn't immediately hear back.

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