By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – Candles were lit, their reflection visible in the water as friends came to bid farewell to 27-year-old Taylor Meyer at City Park Lake Pavilion in Denver on Wednesday night. There were flowers, flags and a photo of a dear friend they lost too soon.

(credit: CBS)

Rob McManus recalled going to a country music festival in Grand Junction where he and Taylor first met.

Taylor Meyer (credit: Meyer family)

“He’s just such a fun-loving guy. He really cared about his family.”

Molly Mulderrig agreed.

“He put his friends and his family above everything else.”

(credit: CBS)

The 2013 University of Colorado graduate went Mexico’s Riviera Maya, but the fun suddenly turned to tragedy. His father Kris and sister Megan spoke to CBS4’S Rick Sallinger from California.

Megan and Kris Meyer (credit: CBS)

“They found Taylor’s body stabbed and robbed of his watch, wallet, iPhone and shoes,” his father Kris said.

Taylor was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity in college. He had been living and working in California where he was an executive for UPS.

(credit: Meyer family)

His sister Megan says he loved Colorado.

“He got a promotion to be in southern California. Ever since then he’s been trying to get a promotion to get back to Colorado.”

The Playa del Carmen area of Mexico has been the subject of state department warnings in the past due to threats of kidnapping, carjacking and murder.

(credit: CBS)

Taylor’s father issued a warning based on his family’s experience.

“It is not safe down there. It’s not safe for your sons and daughters to travel there at this time.”

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.