Oscar Aracena-Montero loved dancing to bachata, living life to the fullest and dogs.
The 26-year-old had just got back into Orlando on June 11 before heading to Pulse nightclub with his boyfriend, Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31. They both died together inside the club on the morning of June 12, along with 47 others.
Close friend, Marz Aponte, spoke to News 6 about Aracena-Montero a few weeks before the 1-year anniversary of his death.
"I still can't believe he's gone," Aponte said. "Oscar was full of life. Loved his family and friends and always had a smile on his face no matter what."
Aponte said Aracena-Montero had just moved in with his boyfriend to a house they had purchased in Kissimmee. He worked as a manager at McDonald's and Aponte said he was always trying to better himself.
"He was so determined to do so much," Aponte said. "He was a doll. Purchasing his new car at age 20."
Aponte said Aracena-Montero spoke to his family back in the Dominican Republic all the time, especially his mother, who was granted a special visa to leave Santo Domingo and attend her son's funeral.
"He was a caring young man, he had so much to give,” Aponte said. “He had such a radiant smile and a personality to match.”
Aponte described Aracena-Montero’s death as "such a loss to all of us who loved him."