Edward Sotomayor Jr.: A travel agent known for top hats, celebrating life

Sotomayor's friends recall fun-loving tour guide

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34, was a top hat loving travel guide.

Edward "Eddie" Sotomayor Jr., 34, loved traveling -- so much so he worked as a travel agent and spent his off-time celebrating life with friends.

Sotomayor was a national brand manager for ALandCHUCK.travel, an LGBT travel agency based in Sarasota, reported the Bradenton Herald.

He also loved top hats.

In fact, his friends called him "top-hat Eddie," and they've created a Facebook page with the same title dedicated to the memory of Sotomayor.

"He was one of our tour leaders, known for wearing his top hat, and for being a really nice guy," Robin Ziegler Suess posted on social media. "He was also a tour leader on our recent Caribbean cruise in January, where I had the honor of wearing his top hat."

Last April, Sotomayor led a tour group on the first U.S. cruise to Cuba. He sent himself a postcard that arrived just before the Pulse shooting, Al Ferguson, owner of ALandCHUCK.travel, told the Bradenton Herald.

Sotomayor had traveled to Orlando from his home in Sarasota, and he was out having fun at Pulse nightclub when the shooting happened on June 12.

His name was one of the first four released by authorities that Sunday.


About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.