The family of 43-year-old Mark Moore is speaking out after two men were charged in his violent death.
According to police, Moore was with friends in his apartment in south Lethbridge on the evening of April 26, when a fight allegedly broke out that resulted in his fatal injuries.
His mother, Anita Moore, says she is devastated by the loss of her youngest son.
“[I’m] just really sad and let down because Mark was my only relative in Lethbridge,” Anita said.
“He always kept in touch with me. He would call me all the time, sometimes to my distraction, but he was considerate and he’d always say, ‘I love you mom,’ before he hung up.”
Mark had a difficult childhood, according to his mother. He grew up in Ontario with his five siblings and struggled with learning disabilities and cognitive delays –some that were not diagnosed until he was an adult.
His family says that as a result, he dealt with abuse in group homes, as well as constant bullying.
“He wouldn’t fight back. He wouldn’t defend himself,” his brother Bob Garballa said. “And I don’t know why. He just wouldn’t hurt anybody.”
“He was working at an age eight to 10 level,” his mother added. “That’s what he was diagnosed with in Ontario.”
But Moore persevered and got his high school diploma at the age of 21.
He spent his adult years in Lethbridge, struggling with homelessness and addiction, before finally getting the support he needed to move into his first apartment. His family says it seemed that he was finally getting his life together.
“He was helping people” his mother said. “He knew what it was like to be on the street. And so anybody that was on the street and wanted to come in and spend a night on his floor or something, he would let them do it.
“They would eat his food up, they would steal his money or whatever he had there, and sometimes they would beat him up before they left.”
His family mebers say they believe that generosity and kindheartedness led to his life’s tragic end.
His death sent shockwaves through his family.
Garballa, who lives in Ontario, says he was always protective of Mark growing up, and was devastated to be so far away.
“There was a gravesite ceremony,” he said. “I wasn’t able to make it because of this COVID-19.”
His mother says the funeral home informed her that it would not be an open casket funeral, due to the multitude of stab wounds to Mark’s face, neck and arms.
Lethbridge police have charged two people with second-degree murder, but Mark’s family members say they still have several unanswered questions.
“All that’s going through my mind is why did this happen?” Garballa said. “How could this have been prevented?”
“I just want to have justice done right now,” his mother added. “Because I don’t know why these people would do this to him. I can’t understand it.”
When contacted by Global News on Friday, Lethbridge police confirmed their investigation is ongoing.
Justin Robert Adel White Cow, 33, and Jason Paul James Crane Chief, 27, the two men charged in Moore’s death, are awaiting their bail hearing on May 11.