On Monday night, 28-year-old Earl English called a friend to chat about plans for the evening.
He and Tubyous Hawes were inseparable, dubbed “Frick and Frack” by mutual friends. They went to clubs and parties, talked off and on every day and liked to play cards together.
That night, English said he’d call Hawes back to shore up plans to play spades, Hawes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But Hawes said the call never came. English was found almost 24 hours later shot dead in his home outside Decatur, with a plastic bag over his head.
DeKalb County police are investigating, while Hawes and English’s family are begging for anyone with information to come forward.
Hawes recalls English was a charismatic, boisterous “life of the party,” who wasn’t the type of man to keep enemies.
“I don’t see why anyone would want to cause harm to him, let alone take his life,” the friend said Friday. “He was the type of person if you knew him you loved him.”
Police haven’t released a possible motive for the killing, though the family suspects robbery. It isn’t clear what someone would have wanted from him.
In the home, police found cupboards in the kitchen open and things scattered through multiple rooms.
English’s two cars, a 2011 Dodge Charger and a 2015 Chevrolet Camaro, remained in the driveway when Hawes and several of English’s co-workers went to check on him Tuesday. English, who worked at a Midtown Atlanta leasing agency, had missed work and couldn’t be reached.
He’d never missed a day and wasn’t typically hard to get on the phone, they said.
“Me and my son were best friends,” mother Linda English told Channel 2 Action News. “When he didn’t call me, I started calling people.”
Hawes felt the same way.
At the house, which is near I-285 on Northbrand Drive, he watched as police went in to see if English was OK. The door jammed, with the body slumped against the inside of it.
The friend and co-workers had been told to stay back, but Hawes could see the officers react to the sight of the body.
“That just solidified what I was thinking,” Hawes said.
Anyone with information on the case can call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.