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Parents Ask For Help Solving Son's Death

DORAL(CBS4)---A grieving mother and father are appealing for the public's help exactly six weeks after the body of their 21-year-old son was discovered in a desolate and remote area of Southwest Miami-Dade.

Miami-Dade police say Christian Joseph McKenzie had been shot in the upper torso.

McKenzie's emotional mother and father spoke to CBS4's Peter D'Oench inside Miami-Dade Police headquarters on Friday as they sat beside photographs of their son.

"It's the first Christmas without him and I never thought something like this would happen to me," said Adena McKenzie. "It's devastating. It's unbearable and it could happen to anyone so I hope someone will come forward."

McKenzie told D'Oench, "He was a kind and loving caring child who works very hard and I can't believe that somebody would do that to him. He wanted to be an entrepreneur. He wanted to do a lot of things and now he'll never get a chance to do it."

"He was just a really loving kid," said the victim's father, Arthur McKenzie. "He was such a loving kid. And he worked two jobs. He worked with me in construction at my company, McKenzie Construction Corporation and he worked at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Miami."

His parents say he had worked hard at jobs ever since graduating from South Dade Senior High School.

"His one goal in life was to make money and he would do weird things," he said. "His jobs were everything and when he was late to leave for work I knew something was wrong. That's when I contacted police."

"He was just there, just there for everyone," said Arthur McKenzie. "He was always giving money to his brothers, whatever they needed. He had an older brother and a younger brother."

McKenzie's parents last saw their son on the morning of Thursday, November 14th when he left home. That evening, his 1993 Toyota Truck was discovered at the intersection of S.W. 232nd St. and S.W. 187th Ave.

On the morning of  November 15th, police say McKenzie's body was found by a canal in a very remote and desolate area at S.W. 408th St. and S.W. 232nd Ave. His body was discovered about 12 miles away from his parents' home.

"It is my belief that Christian went there with someone he knew and this happened to him," said the lead Miami-Dade Police Detective on this case, Richard Raphael. "What I believe is that he was killed in the location where he was found. This is a very unique case. There are no witnesses that we know of thus far."

Detective Raphael would not say exactly where in the upper torso that McKenzie was shot or how many times he was shot. He did say that McKenzie had a concealed weapons permit but it was not known if his weapon was with him.

Raphael was asked about the area where McKenzie's body was found.

"I know it's an area used for target practice by youngsters and a lot of fishermen go out there to hunt and discharge firearms," he said. But he said McKenzie's death was definitely "not an accident."

Raphael was asked about the friend who McKenzie  may have met.

"We know who he was in contact with through records of phone calls made but we have not corroborated any names yet," said Raphael. "We have yet to do that."

McKenzie's father said his son was married but he and his wife had been separated for about a year.

Raphael said she had not been interviewed yet about her husband's death.

Raphael was also asked why McKenzie had a concealed weapons permit.

"I know he lived with his family out in the Everglades and many families out there do have weapons," he said.

"He had been with a friend, someone he knew," said Arthur McKenzie. "We want people to realize that this could happen to you or anyone. We need justice in this case. We need closure."

McKenzie's parents say their son had no enemies.

"I'd appreciate it if anyone in the public sees or hears anything, please give the police a call because I need to know who and why they did this to my child," said Adena McKenzie. "He didn't deserve that."

Anyone who can help Miami-Dade Police with this case should call them or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

"It would give us so much closure to know who did it and to know that there would be justice for our son," said Adena McKenzie.

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