GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office confirms it is investigating the deaths of two men that happened on May 3.

While the family of one of the men believe it was a murder-suicide, investigators have released no details about the case including who died, where, or how.

Nearly 1,000 people have already gathered to remember 37-year-old Ryan Pate. Many wore tie-dye t-shirts that said “Hug Like Pate.”

“The amount of people that came through, the stories they told, the hugs they gave. There were lines wrapped around the building,” Dina Cowan, Pate’s sister, said.

But while they celebrated the life of the 37-year-old, questions remain about his death.

“People were asking what happened when will the news come out why haven’t we seen anything lots of questions about why his story isn’t being told,” Cowan said.

Jackson County officials never released any information last week regarding an investigation into multiple deaths. On Wednesday, Sheriff Darryl Forte confirmed two people died, but said no further information could be released because it’s an ongoing investigation.

“It’s been hush hush, and it’s not right. Ryan deserves more,” Brent Pate, Ryan’s father, said.

Family said Pate was always there for friends in need. Three days after his death, they say investigators told him that’s how he died.

“What we’ve been told is it looks like Ryan went to help a friend and his friend who he went to go to help hurt him, took his life,” Cowan said.

Authorities aren’t saying who that friend was or officially how either man died. Family said they were told by investigators Pate was shot in his car as he sat with that friend. They want people to know why he was there.

“He was there for some people in their darkest moments. He was that kind of friend and that’s what he was trying to do is be there for someone who needed him and he was trying to help,” Cowan said.

“I don’t understand. It’s his story that needs to be told,” Pate said.

While the family waits for answers, the community is moving forward with several events to honor Ryan Pate. That includes a memorial disc golf tournament June 12th at 3pm at Lakeshore Disc Golf Course at Pleasant Hill Lake. A paint night is also being planned, a couple of Pate’s favorite pastimes.

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