EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - A thief made off with an El Cajon man's pickup truck, passed on to him as his father's dying wish.
David Paul Marquez woke up Monday morning to an empty parking spot along E. Renette Avenue.
"I felt heartbroken," said Marquez.
It didn't take long for the Toyota Pickup to first capture his heart so many years ago.
"A lot of on-the-road memories," said Marquez.
His father, David, bought it new 25 years ago.
Marquez was an eagle scout, so there were a lot of talks inside the truck with his dad during camping trips. Later, they bonded over repairing vehicles, including the truck. On the truck's back window were several stickers, including one that read 'Vietnam Veteran. Marquez' father was a Vietnam veteran, awarded 3 Bronze Star medals while serving in the Army.
"A lot of his friends didn't come home, and this was his way of paying homage to him," said Marquez.
The truck became one of his dad's most treasured possessions. In 2011, his father was diagnosed with liver cancer. In the days before he died a year later, he made a request.
"He told my mom, 'Whatever you do, don't sell the truck. Make sure you give it to David Paul,'" said Marquez.
After his dad passed, the truck was turned over to him. Being inside it made him feel closer to his father.
"I love my dad and wanted to keep it the way he had it," said Marquez.
A few days ago, that link to his father disappeared off the street outside Marquez' home.
"It cut me to the core really," said Marquez.
The truck also had an Army sticker, a P-O-W sticker and an Oakland Raiders sticker.
Anyone with information on the truck is asked to call El Cajon Police at 619-579-3311.