It was supposed to be a quick and fun family vacation. It was supposed to be filled with good food, quality family time and beach bumming.
However, the Wilson family of Parkersburg, West Virginia left their Myrtle Beach vacation with one less family member than they drove down with.
"I am trying to stay strong for the kids," newly widowed Staci Wilson said. "I went to the beach with my husband and came back alone. He died a day before my birthday. People were telling me happy birthday, but I don't care. I honestly never want to celebrate it again."
40-year-old Josh Wilson was on his way to the hotel room he booked for his family when they stopped at a gas station. Staci said that a stranger asked Josh for a ride and Josh said that he would give the stranger a ride after dropping his family off at the hotel. He then dropped his wife and son off at the hotel, not knowing that would be the last time he would see them.
"I didn't think anything of it because he does it all the time," Staci said. "He was always kind to everybody. It didn't matter if you were homeless, a struggling addict, if you was rich. He was nice and he tried to help out everybody and that's how we got in this situation."
The Horry County Coroner's Office said that Josh was wounded in a shooting near 8th Avenue North and Kings Highway. Police said that Josh was found with bullet wounds in his car at around 1 a.m. on July 6, 2022. His wife said he was on life support until Sunday, July 9.
It is unclear exactly what happened after Josh returned to the gas station and gave the stranger a ride. Police said that the man that asked Josh for a ride was not the person responsible for his death; rather, police say that Josh came in contact with 35-year-old Quentin Ahmad Jean, who is being charged with Wilson's death, after dropping off the stranger and was shot at multiple times while driving.
"We were truly soulmates. I've been married before and it's weird because I've never felt this connection that I felt with him. I can tell him everything and he told me everything. We were best friends and I felt 100% comfortable with him," Staci said.
The couple would have celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary on October 16, 2022. Staci said that they had been together for six years.
"He just always wanted to make sure that we were safe. He would not even let me sleep beside a door. I had to sleep away from the door and he had to sleep beside the door," she said. "He wouldn't let me pump my own gas. He said a man should not sit in the car while the woman pumps gas."
Staci said she wants Jean to receive the death sentence or life in prison. During her interview with The Sun News, she wore a shirt with her husband's picture on the front and the words "No justice, no closure" on the back.
"I laid my head on his chest until his heart stopped," she said. "Nobody deserves to be taken away from their nephews, their kids, their wife, who all really loved him and knew him as a person. He didn't deserve that. We were supposed to leave as a family on the sixth. We were supposed to go back to work on the seventh. ... He said he wanted to grow old with me, sit on porch swings and watch the grandkids."