Published: Dec 30, 2012 10:58 PM EST
Updated: Dec 31, 2012 12:02 AM EST

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for your help, after the body of 26-year old Gregory Mathews' body was discovered on Christmas Eve in Lehigh Acres.

A long-time friend of Mathews told Wink News he wasn't a troublemaker. They did not want to appear on-camera and wanted Wink News to disguise their voice. But said the recent spike in homicides in the Fort Myers area has made them want to move out of town.

"He was nice, loving caring. Anybody and everybody who came in contact with him they fell in love with him. I don't know who would want to do something to someone like that because he wasn't a trouble maker," the close friend said.

On December 24th, a passer by in the area of Hedgewood Street and Meadow Road in Lehigh discovered Mathews' body and called the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Larry Fuller's property backs up to the crime scene where Mathews' body was discovered.

"It was Christmas day around 2:00 p.mp. when a Deputy Sheriff approached me and asked me if I had noticed anything in the woods lately," Fuller said.

Fuller said after this gruesome discovery, along with the 24 homicides this year alone in nearby Fort Myers, he feels "less than safe."

"I was always told Lehigh had the crime and now, Lehigh is becoming the dumping ground, not only for trash but for bodies," he said.

Mathews was known to friends as "Bam." As investigators try to find a motive for the killing, Mathews' friend has no idea why anyone would hurt him.

"I don't feel safe with any of this going on. Sometimes I'm afraid to step outside my door."

Investigators are hopeful the public can provide information about the events that led up to Mathews' murder. Anyone with information is asked to call crime stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).