SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 19-year-old has been arrested and charged with the murder of a Lakeland 18-year-old who was reported missing and later found dead in a Sumter County wilderness preserve.
Sumter County deputies say David Anthony Garcia of Lakeland has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder of Charlie Roberts Jr.
Deputies say Roberts was last seen with Garcia in Lakeland on Tuesday. Roberts’ family reported him missing soon after and his cell phone history led law enforcement to the Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area.
The body of Roberts was found Wednesday around 6 p.m.
Deputies say the preliminary investigation show Roberts’ death was a homicide by a gun.
On Thursday afternoon, deputies say detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Gracia. He was found in the Pinellas County area and agreed to travel to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office in Bushnell and surrender himself to detectives.
He was booked into the Sumter County Detention Center where he is being held under a no bond pending trial.
This is still an active investigation and anyone with information is asked to call the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 352-569-1680 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.