Man learned of son's murder by viral photo on Facebook

Image 1 of 3

The gruesome photo went viral on social media of the arm of a dead man, dangling out of the trunk of a car on Detroit's east side.

It is hard enough to lose a child, but this father learned of his son's murder on Facebook.

"I couldn't believe it was him, I couldn't believe it," said Jeff Davis. "That's how I found out, through Facebook."

FOX 2: "That picture?"

"Yes," Davis said.  "With the arm hanging out of the trunk."

Jeff Davis learned about his son's murder through Facebook. Someone passing by the alley near Hickory and Fairmont on Detroit's east side made the disturbing discovery - a white Buick Century abandoned in the alley with a man's arm hanging out of the trunk.

The picture was shared thousands of times and it didn't take long for relatives to recognize the car and police to confirm it was 39-year-old Jeff Hagler.

He had been beaten, shot three times and left for dead in his trunk.

"It’s sad to find out your son you've just seen - and the next thing you know he is in the back of a car," Davis said.

Davis says his son celebrated Father's Day with him Sunday and left at about 1:30 a.m.

His body was discovered less than 12 hours later.

Hagler, who works at a local auto part supplier, is a father of three. His youngest is just a few months old.

Family members say in his 20s he served time for drug crimes, but has led a quiet life since.

FOX 2: "Did he have any connections to that area?"

"Not that I know of," Davis said.

FOX 2: "You don't know what he was doing over there?"

"No, someone said he got a phone call from a girl," Davis said. "And that was the last of that."

Family members tell us they believe this is a random crime and that robbery was the motive.

Police suspect there may be something more behind this murder and are actively investigating this crime - right now described only as a homicide - but apparently killed by someone who had no regard for human life.

"I'm going to miss you," Davis said. "And I love you."

In a previous report, FOX 2 spoke to a man listed as the owner of the car where the body was found. The car was registered to that man but Davis believes he had nothing to do with it because Hagler "never registered his calls." Police say they are looking at everything and anyone.

Anyone with information call Detroit police at (313) 596-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.