Perez died with his longtime partner, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, whom he wooed while working at Perfumania, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Perez lived in Kissimmee and liked going out, his sister-in-law Katia Mendez told the paper, adding that he was also a doting uncle who spoiled her three kids.
"He was like a little kid when he was with them," she told the paper.
"He laughed with the people and would make jokes," said Claudia Agudelo, who worked with Perez. "He was always happy."
Perez was from Puerto Rico but moved to Florida when he was a teen, his father, Angel Mendez, told the paper. "He was a real dynamic kid," said Mendez.
Before he was confirmed dead, Perez's father frantically searched for him, showing a cell phone photo of him to the media.