An Islip man who had traveled the globe for the past decade and was planning a cross-country bicycle ride was shot to death by robbers after he missed a bus connection in Fayetteville, North Carolina, last week, police and his family said.
Mark Boyd, 32, was shot late Thursday, and was pronounced dead early Friday, after a man he met in the Fayetteville bus depot offered him a place to sleep, they said. Instead, the man and an accomplice drove him to a secluded area, shot him and stole his crated bicycle and camping gear, they said.
"Everywhere he went he met kind people, and he was a kind and good person. Then he came back to America and this happens," his stepmother, Susanne Boyd of Islip, said in an interview Monday.
"I met his father and married 20 years ago," she said. "Our children followed him like the Pied Piper. Shane, who is 13, would say: 'Tell me another story, Mark,' and he'd tell the story about how he thought his shoes were melting and it was a volcano."
She said her stepson left last Thursday morning for St. Augustine, Florida, where he planned to uncrate his bicycle and pedal to the Pacific Ocean, a trip he expected to take several months.
Fayetteville police would not go into details of the investigation, but she said a homicide detective told her that her son missed his connecting bus and took up a stranger on his offer of a nearby room rather than spend the night in the terminal.
Her son went with the man "because Mark is so trusting. . . . They took this innocent kid. . . He is so kind. He wouldn't kill a bug," she said. "They hit him, they hurt him and they shot him."
Fayetteville police said they arrested two local men there and charged both with first-degree murder in Boyd's death. Police identified them as Carlos Jacob Engle, 32, who was arrested Sunday and had previously served jail terms for armed robbery, assaulting a police officer and other crimes; and Deshavonte Kemp, 19, who also is charged with first-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Bail is not being made available to either man, police said.
She said Boyd graduated in 2000 from Islip High School, where he had been on the lacrosse team. He graduated with honors from SUNY Oneonta with degrees in sociology and philosophy "and started his journey -- Thailand, teaching English as a second language."
"From Thailand to South Korea and Vietnam and Cambodia. He went to Egypt and rode a camel," she said.
He returned to Islip from South America in the beginning of the summer and began planning for this ride to the West Coast. "He got his bicycle and sidebags and camping stove and maps. He was on the computer mapping it out," she said.
The family will receive visitors Wednesday at Chapey and Sons Funeral Home from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. A service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Bay Shore.