POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - A Heartland family thought it was a scam when they started receiving messages from people in the Philippines a week ago.
But it turns out, their father was found dead in his hotel room while vacationing there.
Tiffany Jackson and her husband moved to Missouri to be with her father-in-law, Mack Jackson.
"When I didn't know what I was going to do with my life, he suggested I join the army because that's what made him a man," said J. J. Jackson.
Jackson's father served three tours in Vietnam and loved to vacation especially in the Philippines. He had one specific spot that was his absolute favorite.
"They referred to him as the father of the San Paquio Inn, and that's the hotel he stayed at," said J. J.
But something happened on his last trip there.
"So I get home from work and I have this message on Facebook," said J. J. "I had a message from this Filipino lady, Elisa Rebeya. Are you the son of Mr. Jackson? Your father passed away this morning in the Philippines."
It's not the way any family wants to find out about a loved one. Then they kept getting more messages.
"We didn't know if it was a scam or people needed money from my dad, so we wanted to hear it from the Embassy," said J. J.
"At that point, we still thought it was of natural causes so we were just trying to get information and make peace with it and move on to see what assets he had, wills, stuff like that," said Tiffany.
As the family turned to move forward with funeral arrangements, they got one more message. This one was a little more suspicious.
"If you read this, you need to talk to the police," said J. J. "This is when we were going through the paperwork, so I really wasn't paying much attention to it. She said please respond. I was like wait a minute, did someone kill him? And, she said yes."
Again, the family wanted it confirmed, so they called the police.
"So I put the phone on speaker in front of my family and my husband and they starting reading us the report," said Tiffany. "They had arrived on scene at the San Paquio Tourist Inn and found Mack Carroll Jackson in his hotel room with blood coming out of his face and a gunshot wound to the head was a the cause of death."
Now with murder the cause of death, the family wants answers. They have hired an attorney to investigate.
"It's one thing to have a parent die and it's another to have a parent that 66-years-old get murdered in his hotel room on vacation," said J. J.
Even with a lot of questions remaining, the hardest part is telling their children.
"Telling my daughter that her new grandpa is gone was really tough and hard for her to understand. We didn't tell her that he was murdered but we did tell her that he passed away," said Tiffany.
The family is in the process of getting Jackson's belongings and ashes back to the states.
Funeral arrangements were made for Sunday, March 3 at Cotrell Funeral Home in Wappapello.
Visitation starts at Noon with Masonic rights at 1 p.m., immediately followed by the Memorial.
Dinner provided and prepared by the Wappapello VFW starting at 2:30 p.m.
Bon fire-celebration of life on the family farm starting at 5:30 p.m.
Veterans service at the Veteran Cemetery in Bloomfield beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 7.
And in lieu of flowers, family would prefer that donations be made in Mack Jackson's name to the Shiner's Children's Hospital.