"He was a one-of-a-kind person": Man found dead on Franklin County road remembered

Death being investigated as a homicide

HALIFAX COUNTY, Va. – Laid back and the life of the party.

That’s how Travis Parnnell, who was found shot dead on the side of the road, is being remembered.

“He was a one-of-a-kind person. If you met him, you would instantly want to be his friend or instantly want to talk to him. You would catch a good vibe. He wasn’t a troubled person, he just liked to make people laugh and have fun all the time,” Pannell's cousin, Jessica Pannell, said.

She was visibly emotional as she described her cousin.

Deputies say Travis was found dead on the side of a road in Franklin County Thursday, shot eight times according to his mother.

“Why? I just want justice brought,” Travis Pannell's mother, Janet Gregory said.

Travis had a young son and daughter and another child on the way.

The family has not decided when or how they will tell his two kids what happened.

“When it came to kids, he loved all kids. All the children loved Travis. Travis was just one-of-a-kind," Jessica said.

Gregory said Travis was staying in Roanoke with his girlfriend.

He was supposed to call her the day he went missing, but her phone never rang.

Three days later, she found out from his girlfriend he was missing.

"The last time I spoke to my son, it was October 4. I talked to him after lunch. He seemed like he was happy. I said, ‘Travis, call me after I get off of work at 10 o’clock.’ He said, ‘Mom, OK. I love you.’ I had no idea that something like this was going to happen," Gregory said.

Travis's uncle, Waverly Pannell, thanked God for the person who found Travis' body.

“I’m just so glad for whoever found him so that we can at least ease the pain and go on with life," he said. "(I) Hope God shows (the) police officers who did this."

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

On Tuesday, 10 News reached out to the sheriff's office for an update but did not get a response