It was in search of a dream that Túlio Gonçalves Lacerda, 32, from Minas Gerais, left his hometown, Itaipé in the Mucuri Valley, in 2015, heading to Massachusetts, in the United States.
In the North American country, from his arrival until 2018, Túlio lived in that state and currently lived in Washington DC
The man from Itaipense was found dead in the room of a ship in Los Angeles, the final destination of a cruise he took with his boyfriend Jason Aguirre, who also died.
The causes of deaths are being investigated. What the police have said so far is that there were no marks of violence on the bodies.
A friend of Túlio, who preferred not to be identified, in an exclusive interview with g1said that the boy was a wonderful person, with a kind heart and that he helped everyone in need.
“Talking about Túlio is easy because he was an incredible person! A wonderful person, with a wonderful heart! Wherever he went he left kindness and joy. He was at masses every Sunday morning. Wherever he arrived he was caring, polite. He helped everyone” , said the friend.
The friend, who is from Governador Valadares, said that the boy entered the country with the aim of studying the English language, on a student visa.
His first job was in painting, a job he practiced for four months. After that, he embarked on the business area, which involves commerce, business and economics in general.
Professional success came accompanied by a coronation. On September 26, 2016, Túlio was elected Mister Brazil in a beauty contest in Massachusetts.
“He came here to win! At three years old, he had a citizenship interview and got his Greencard. Lately he had been traveling a lot,” said the friend.
She said that Túlio and Jason, who was from the Dominican Republic, had been together for six months. Before that, the miner had been married to an American for three years.
The boy was in Brazil for the last time in May this year. He attended a family member’s wedding, visited his family in Itaipé and stayed in the country for almost two months.
Túlio was the youngest and had a brother and a sister.
Very attached to his mother, he took her for a walk in the USA.
The friend said that during the trip, Túlio talked to his family every day. He shared photos, videos and was very happy.
Túlio spoke to his mother in the early hours of Sunday, the day before he was found dead. He spoke with his brother at around 2:30 am (Brazil time), also on Sunday.
The mother even vented to her son’s friend:
“It felt like he was saying goodbye to me. He called every day, asked me if he looked pretty and showed me the beauty of the trip,” he said.
The police informed family members that the boys were found at around 9pm (local time), on October 30th, and that they are suspected of having died between 8:30am and 9am on the same day.
It was the end of a seven-day trip, dreamed and planned by the couple.
“The day I found out was shocking for me and my children. I was at home when a friend got in touch and asked if I was aware of the death. The world ended. The next day, I couldn’t work. A few weeks ago he told me he would come here”, said the Valadarense woman.
A seventh-day mass was held at a church in the city of Hudson, Massachusetts, on the 11th.
The boys’ bodies are still awaiting release for the funeral at the IML in Los Angeles.
Virtual fundraisers were created to raise money and cover the costs of the transfers. Túlio’s body returns to his hometown where he will be buried. The boyfriend’s body is sent from Los Angeles to California, where he will be buried.
Burials are expected to take place in the coming days.