ORLANDO, Fla. - Jay Stone loved working as a custodian at Disney's Magic Kingdom and was always helpful -- perhaps even to a fault -- said his parents.
Orange County deputies found Stone, 30, dead in his in Ocoee apartment on Saturday after his parents became suspicious about his new friendship with a homeless couple he had recently befriended.
Stone allowed Shanna and Thomas "Mike" Heath to move into his tiny Vizcaya Lakes apartment, along with their two small children, just a couple weeks after meeting them. Stone's parents said they came with no luggage, but deputies said they left with his credit cards and truck, and then they found him dead.
"Jay met these people, they told him they didn't have money for another night at their hotel," said John Stone, the victim's father. "These people abused his kindness. I think he was being strung along another day, another day."
Stone said his son offered to let the Heaths stay at his apartment for the weekend, but the short stay turned into a week. The stone's felt something was wrong when they met the couple, and quietly warned their son about the family's motives.
"A married couple with two small kids, the worst we're thinking is they're going to take advantage of him financially," said Dianna Picard, Stone's step-mother.
When their son stopped calling every day, they grew more suspicious.
Deputies said 10 days after the Heaths moved in, they vanished. Stone was then found dead and his truck was gone.
The Heaths were tracked down in Georgia in Stone's SUV after Shanna Heath called 911, said authorities. She is cooperating with the investigation. Thomas Heath was on probation from Tennessee and deputies charged him with the truck theft. He is a person of interest in the murder but has not been charged.
"This is the senseless part: Why? He had done nothing but be kind to them," said Picard. "But even if they had just taken his stuff and left, Jay, the next time around, maybe would have been a little more cautious, but would never change his heart."
To continue their son's legacy of giving, the Stones have asked donations to go to "Matthew's Hope," a charity that helps the homeless.
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