DENVER (KDVR) – The mother of a man found dead along the High Line Canal Trail last Friday spoke exclusively with FOX31.

The body of 18-year-old Alex Malone was found in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood near DIA. The trail was a place where Malone spent most of his childhood.

His mom said despite it being the site where his body was found, she has reasons to remember it fondly.

“Alex was a genuine person, he would have given the shirt off his back for his family and his friends,” his mother, who asked not to be identified, said.

“This back here was this normal little playground,” she said.

As a child, even into his teenage years, his mother said these were his stomping grounds.

“I remember one time he fell out of one of these trees and he cut himself all the way down his back and he comes inside and he’s crying, he gets all cleaned up and he’s right back in the tree,” she said.

She has plenty of good memories of Alex on the trail, including one he didn’t take gloves out during freezing temperatures.

“He came back in the house and he was holding his hands out and they were just like blue and cold and he was like I should have listened mom, I should have listened. That was one of my good memories,” she said.

It was on that very trail his body was found after he’d been missing for a day, and now, investigators with the Denver Police Department believe his death was a homicide.

While holding back tears, his mother read the last text message she shared with Alex:

“I love you more than my own life I worry about you all the time. Just stay safe, I love you, he said I love you too and I will,” she said.

She wants to start a petition to get lights out on the High Line Canal Trail.

She said that would make it safer for anyone who uses it and serve as a legacy to her son.

If you have any information about this case, contact our partners at Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP.