Update: The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit says it is investigating the death in the 1400-block of Hillside Avenue on March 10 as a homicide.

Original story: The mother of a man found dead near a Victoria mall on the weekend says she is gutted and overwhelmed by the loss of her son.

Darlene Hogue says her son Joe Gauthier, 35, told her he loved her Friday night and that he would see her tomorrow.

Those were the last words she'd ever hear from Gauthier, who was found dead near Hillside Shopping Centre in the early hours of Saturday morning.

"My son never left the house without telling me he loved me, kissing me goodbye, because that was important to me," an emotional Hogue told CTV News on Monday. "He would do anything for anybody. I would get so mad at him sometimes…this is probably one of those times."

The Vancouver Island Major Crime Unit and Victoria Police are investigating, but have not confirmed whether Gauthier was the victim, how he died or who might be to blame. They only say the public is not considered to be at risk.

But Hogue says her son, himself a father of four boys, was stabbed to death at a house party.

"I was told that he was stabbed. He died right away. He was in no pain," she said.

She also says she knows who did it, but no charges have been laid yet.

"I want him to come home," Hogue said, breaking down in tears. "He's supposed to be at work today."

The sudden loss has triggered two GoFundMe pages to raise money for Gauthier's funeral expenses, and another to help support the four sons he left behind.

It has also left the local football community, where Gauthier was a big supporter of his son Joey, in shock.

"Joe was a very dedicated father. He was very enthusiastic, he always came to Joey's games and cheered really loud," said Saanich Wolverines coach Jonathan Poppit.

"He really cared about his son and loved him quite a bit. It was pretty upsetting, I didn't know Joe all that well but I know his son quite well and it's going to be tough."

Anyone who was in the Hillside area between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on Saturday and has information on the death is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.