NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of a Queens man was horrified Monday, after their search led them to a beach in the Rockaways where police later found his body in a shallow grave.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the family of Quynton Ross, 33, was searching for him just steps from the Rockaway Beach boardwalk when they stumbled upon the nightmare Monday morning.

“Why did they do that? God, why?” sobbed Stachia Jacobs, Ross’ aunt. “She got a call that they found his body in a shallow grave, right next to the bag that she found. Mother’s instinct made her open that bag.”

Ross, a photographer from Jamaica, Queens, had been missing for more than 24 hours, when his worried mother used the “Find My iPhone” app to ping his smartphone.

Relatives said Ross’ mother and fiancée traced the iPhone to a sand dune at Beach 40th Street, between Edgemere Avenue and the Rockaway Boardwalk. There, they discovered the plastic bag filled with bloody clothing and Ross’ pinging phone.

“It was based on a GPS connection with the phone. That is it,” said family friend Noel Moses “Using her motherly instinct, she was able to come to this location.”

Ross’ mother called 911, and around 10 a.m. Monday, detectives uncovered Ross’ lifeless body in a sand-filled shallow grave, stuffed in a garbage bag – just yards from the boardwalk.

As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, sources said detectives also found a bag with three cell phones inside and the identification of the woman’s son.

The victim’s anguished mother collapsed in the sand and was taken to nearby St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. She was sedated at the hospital with her relatives at her bedside.

Meanwhile, Ross’ fiancée has been helping police at the 101st Precinct, where an immediate investigation has been launched into the mysterious homicide.

“They murdered him. They murdered him,” said Ross’ cousin, adding that he did not know who could have been responsible.

“Oh, there’s a God above and he will deal with them, whoever did it,” added Ross’ aunt Jacobs, sobbing. “Oh, God! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh, my nephew! What happened?”

Ross was devoted to his 6-year-old daughter, who was to be a flower girl in his upcoming wedding. His family said he didn’t have an enemy in the world.

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