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A day after Independence shop owner found dead, employees vow to keep business running in his memory

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Chelsea Dabney said her father's automotive and towing show, Extreme Automotive and Tow, was a sanctuary.

"He has always said ‘if anything happens, this is what is going to help take care of us,'" Chelsea said.

For Kyle Dabney, Chelsea's brother and Mark's son, the shop represented progress.

"It means he was a tough man. he went through a lot to build this. He had a rough past but it’s incredible to see what he has built," Kyle said.

Independence police said Mark Dabney, 49, was found dead at his home on Sunday. As they continue to investigate, employees and others made sure Mark's shop remained open on Monday so his family and friends could hold onto small piece of his big heart.

"He is the person I tell everything to. He would tell me everything as well. He has a huge heart. He may not look like it, he is a big 'ol dude but he has the biggest heart I know," Chelsea said.

"I could call him at 3 o’clock in the morning or 4 o’clock in the afternoon and it didn’t matter, he would send a tow truck to me and help me out. He was just the greatest guy. When it comes down to it he was an awesome guy and he didn’t deserve to have this happen to him," Jason Hale, Mark's friend and business associate, said.

"I'm kind of at peace right now. I've accepted it. It's going to be hard for the next couple of years," Kyle said.

Although Mark's light is no longer at his shop, the hope is that the lights will stay on so their father can live on.

"Everybody is in a tossup about what’s going on with this or that. I don’t care we do with any of it if I can have my dad back. That’s what I want," Kyle said.

"Just knowing that his presence is always going to be here. Still going to wait for him to walk through the door on his cell phone like he does every single time you see him. We’ll know he’ll be here and that’s what’s going to help," Chelsea said.