Thomas Maresco had a passion for helping others.
"He was such a caring person, I never saw a selfish act from him," said Mackenzie Buck, a family friend.
Sunday night, friends and family shared stories of the man they described as selfless.
"He wanted to see the world so what better way to do that then see Africa and help people," said Ryan Schorn, another friend.
The University of Florida graduate was a science teacher in Lesotho, where he stressed HIV awareness and prevention among young people.
"He would tell us stories about how he would hunt and cook his own food, he seemed to like it there," said Bobby Serregeo, Maresco's cousin.
Friday night the Maresco family learned the tragic news. "My brother walked in to my room crying and says 'Tom died,' he had to repeat it to me like 3 times" said Serregeo.
Detectives believe Maresco's death was the result of an attempted robbery near the Peace Corps volunteer's hotel.
The Peace Corps is providing grief counseling and support to volunteers and staff.
Meanwhile, friends and family are left to cope with their loss.
"It's been a train wreck for the family, but were a tough family and were going to pull through this and Tommy wouldn't want it any other way," said Schorn.
Thomas Maresco was scheduled to complete his service January 2012.
The government of Lesotho will conduct the investigation into his death.
©2007 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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