The colleagues and loved ones of Mark Manlapaz gathered for a vigil honoring his life on Thursday, just days after he was found brutally stabbed to death inside his truck at Cal Poly Pomona, where he worked as a public safety employee.
On June 29, Manlapaz was found with multiple stab wounds inside his truck in an undeveloped area of the college campus. The man accused of killing him was later fatally shot by police in another area of the campus.
As an employee at Cal Poly Pomona for 16 years, he has been described by Claremont city officials as “a friendly, helpful, and dedicated figure” at the college and in his second job as a park ranger.
Some of his park ranger colleagues paid their respects to him at the vigil held at Lewis Park in Claremont, describing him as warm and soft-spoken.
“You were immediately Mark’s friend,” said Richard Weiner, another ranger who worked with him for years. “And that’s what we loved about Mark.”
Weiner said he had recently visited some relatives in the Philippines as he valued family and always tried to offer them support.
Manlapaz worked as a senior park ranger and was with the city for three years. John Obert, another ranger, described him as having a gentle and quiet personality.
“He was very soft-spoken, never raised his voice, (and) could control just about any problem that you could possibly think of without getting upset,” Obert said.