GRAND FORKS — Leah Lautt says she was heartbroken when she heard the news Saturday, Dec. 5, that her longtime friend and father of one of her children was found dead. The man everyone knew as "Fuzzy" for his fuzzy hair and his warm and fuzzy loving heart for his family, friends and strangers, was supposed to go stay with her next week to get away from the motel.

55-year-old Jeffrey Shulzitski was in the process of moving out of the Budget Inn Express in Grand Forks. He was then planning to move out of state for a fresh start.

"He just wanted to get away and take a break where it's quiet. I wish that he would have been able to leave earlier on," said Lautt.

The Grand Forks Police Department was called to room 189 Saturday afternoon at the request of the motel staff. It's unclear why they were concerned, but neighbors say Shulzitski worked there as a handyman. Officers say it was obvious that he had been murdered.

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Details of the crime are not being released but, according to the Grand Forks 911 log for that day, it was called in as a stabbing.

"Sometimes, we do get reports of something from a caller, sometimes we verify it, sometimes we don't, but I can't answer that because of the investigation," said Police Lieutenant Jeremy Moe.

There is a surveillance camera pointed right outside Shulzitiski's room.

"I do know that one of the last persons on video leaving his room was a friend of his since early childhood," said Lautt.

Police believe Shulzitski knew his killer, but would not elaborate on Lautt's claim or why he may have been killed.

"We are following up on several leads. Again, I can't get into the details of who, when, what or any of those details," Moe said.

Police also would not say how long they think he may have been dead inside. They are asking people to come forward with information.

"Surrounding a larger time frame of that Saturday, days leading up prior to that, if they saw or heard anything, we'd love to talk to them," Moe said.

Fuzzy's friends and family just want the person or persons who killed him locked up.

"It doesn't matter where he was staying. He was murdered. They deserve as much justice as somebody that lives on Belmont Road," Lautt said.