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'He touched so many lives:' Family remembers man killed in Valrico carjacking

"He loved this community"
Posted at 10:56 PM, Aug 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-10 11:33:10-04

VALRICO, Fla. — More than 1,000 people attended an emotional wake honoring Mathew Korattiyil, the same day family members faced his admitted killer in court for the first time.

"He was taken away by an animal that shouldn't have been let out," said Korattiyil's son, Melvin.

Since Tuesday's deadly crime spree, Korattiyil's family has received an outpouring of support from the community.


We've learned Mathew had a profound impact as owner and operator of a convenience store in Dover, where customers were treated like family for more than 25 years.

"For the lives that he’s touched in a positive light, that’s what I want people to remember," said Melvin.

He leaves behind his family, including four grandchildren and a community he was ingrained in.

"We’ve helped build this community and he loved this community," Melvin said.

Another son took the stand in court Friday to confirm several items found in the suspect's home belonged to Mathew.

Investigators say James Hanson kidnapped Mathew after a botched robbery in Valrico, carjacking and killing the grandfather outside of his own church.

It's the same place hundreds gathered to pay their respects Friday night.

"We're just suffering through something that shouldn't have ever happened," said Melvin.