Oakland Gay Men's Chorus singer stabbed and killed in his home

Family and friends of a singer in the Oakland Gay Men's Chorus, who was stabbed and killed over the weekend, are mourning his death. 

They've identified him as Curtis Marsh and shared a video of the 53-year-old singing, something he loved to do.

"We love Curtis.  He was a very special person in our life," friend DeeDee Twine said, adding he was like a brother to her. 

"He was very sweet, very funny," said Steven Smith with Oakland Gay Men's Chorus. "He was an accomplished musician. Beautiful, beautiful voice."

But the singer's voice was silenced suddenly, just before 8 a.m. on Saturday.

Police said he was stabbed and killed in his apartment near Lake Merritt. 

A neighbor who wishes to remain anonymous described what she heard and saw

 "I heard screams, help, help. I got up," she said. "My neighbor on the 4th floor was screaming and hollering that Curtis was dead.  I was able to view his body. He was laying on his balcony bloodied."

Neighbors said the person who killed Marsh also set a fire by the entrance to the apartment and left the front door and gate open when running from the scene.

"This is scary for the tenants.  I fear for my life," the neighbor said. 

Police said no one's been arrested and they have not said what the motive is.

"I just can't believe it still," Twine said.

She and Marsh had known each other since the 6th grade. The two of them moved from Iowa to the Bay Area in 1995 when they were in their mid-20s. 

Twine said Marsh helped her raise her children and grandson.

"For the life of me, I can not imagine who would put him in harm's way. Curtis was good to a lot of people," said Twine.

Friends said Marsh embraced life.  He worked as a hairstylist and performed as a drag queen.

"He did Curtis and that was what we loved about him," said Twine.

Neighbors said Marsh had lived in this apartment building for 15 years and was well-liked.

"I hope whoever did this to Curtis will be prosecuted to the fullest because he didn't deserve this," said the neighbor.

"When they took him away from our family, they stole a treasure," said Twine.

His family plans to ship his remains back to his hometown in Burlington, Iowa. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at Amber.Lee@Fox.com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU