Police in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are investigating the brutal killing of a young father whose body was left inside a car with his throat slashed, and was later discovered by a group of children.
The victim, 24-year-old Jamai Francis, is described by family members as a dedicated father to a five-year-old little girl. Speaking exclusively to NBC 6 South Florida, Francis' family, still reeling from the news of his death, say he was a fun person who was all about family.
"Every time you use to see him, he's always laughing, smiling, cracking jokes. Just a fun person to be around," sister Elizabeth Aderly says.
Aderly also shared a video of her late brother at a birthday party for his daughter making cotton candy and jumping around inside the bouncy house.
Francis' other sister, Kadisha Davis, was too emotional to speak on camera.
Aderly says she just spoke to her brother early Thursday. The two spoke fondly of upcoming plans for Easter weekend.
"We were just standing right here talking and laughing," she says.
According to his sisters, Francis left for his girlfriend Vonisha's house located in the 200 block of 24th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale Thursday evening.
Vonisha could not speak through tears, but her mother, Veronica Williams, said Francis was kind and always treated the family well.
"He was happy, sweet and always smiling," Williams said.
From there, the women say he left the house for unknown reasons Thursday evening just after dark.
A few hours later, the neighborhood turned into a crime scene as police responded to calls about a dead body left in an idling car.
According to neighbor Myrtle Blakey, children were outside playing basketball around 10 p.m. in the area of 228 Southwest 22nd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. That's when they spotted the car going around in circles.
"All of a sudden the car stopped. They went up to see the car, what was going on, and he was laying back. His throat was cut," Blakey says.
The group of children also claim to have seen another man running out of the car. This claim has not been verified, but the police investigation into the death is ongoing.
Anyone with information is urged to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.