Ward Balcerzak and his family learned Monday that his estranged mother died nearly three weeks ago in Forsyth County.
"Pretty much, we're all taking it difficult," Balcerzak said. "My grandmother and my fiancé probably worst of all."
Speaking by phone from Wisconsin, the 22-year-old Balcerzak reflected Tuesday on the troubled life of his mother, Lisa Rae Munro.
Munro, 43, died Oct. 5 when she was run over by a pick up truck driven by a man authorities say was her boyfriend.
The incident occurred about 5:15 p.m. at the northwestern Forsyth home she shared with 71-year-old John Lindsey Jordan.
Jordan has been charged with vehicular homicide in the first degree and driving under the influence in connection with Munro's death. He was released Oct. 7 from the Forsyth County Detention Center after posting a $17,985 bond.
The Forsyth County Sheriff's office had sought the public's help in finding Munro's family.
Balcerzak said his mother's parents are deceased, but that her sister and brother live in Arizona.
He said Jordan found information about his aunt and notified authorities, who then contacted the sister.
Balcerzak said Munro, a Michigan native who spent most of her life in Florida, sent him to live with his paternal grandparents when he was 2 years old.
"She did what was probably the hardest thing she'd ever done in her life and that was give me up," he said.
Balcerzak had a "rocky relationship" with his mother, who he said a history of substance abuse, but had tried to keep in touch.
"We attempted to stay as close as we could, which a lot of times was not very close, unfortunately," he said.
He said he hadn't talked to Munro "in a while."
"My fiancé had written her a couple notes and my grandma talked to her quite a bit and her sister also talked to her quite a bit," Balcerzak said. "From them I heard pretty much everything that was said back and forth."
What Jordan said to authorities was that he thought Munro had grabbed onto the toolbox of his truck to try to stop him from leaving their home Oct. 5.
But she slipped, he said, and fell under the left rear tire of the 1993 Ford F150 pickup truck he was driving.
Jordan maintained Wednesday that he didn't intend to harm Munro, who he said was trying to stop him from leaving to pick up a friend.
"Only thing I do know is she was under my truck for a moment and I jumped out and I helped her," he said. "And I held her in my arms until the police and the ambulance got here," he said. "I called them twice and I told them please hurry."
Jordan said Munro had lived with him for nearly three years.
"She was homeless and had nowhere to go, and I guess you could call her my girlfriend," he said. "I was just trying to help her and she'd been here two years and 10 months."
Jordan said he didn't see how Munro got hurt.
"I ran in and called 911," he said. "I got the pillow out of my truck and put it under her head. I ran back in here and told them 'please hurry' because I didn't hear the sirens.
"They got here, I guess as fast as they could, but it seemed to me like it was forever. But I was still holding her ... I'm telling you exactly everything I can remember and that is the honest God's truth."
Balcerzak said he and his family are having a hard time believing his mother's death was an accident. Munro suffered a stroke about two years ago, was paralyzed on her left side and used a walker.
"The way he claims she hung on to his truck, I would find that rather difficult for a stroke victim, especially in the condition she was in," he said.
"So if she was able to do that, that's kind of amazing. But it's his word against nobody's, since nobody else was around."
Balcerzak said he was not sure if Munro and Jordan were in a relationship. Munro was divorced from his father, he said, and her second husband, Gerald Glover of Cumming, died about three years ago.
A spokeswoman for the Forsyth County District Attorney's Office said Jordan has not been indicted and the case has not been scheduled before a grand jury.
Balcerzak said he is in the process of hiring an attorney and may consider a wrongful death lawsuit.
There likely will not be a funeral service for Munro, he said. He has made arrangements for her body to be cremated and the remains sent to him.