Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Student mistaken for murder suspect

A college student in Florida is hoping to clear his name after he was wrongfully accused of murder by police.

Zachary Garcia graduated from Hollywood's McArthur High with a 5.0 GPA and is an honor roll student at the University of Florida. This week, Garcia searched his name on Google and discovered he was wanted for murder. "My initial reaction was shock," he said.

Police said Garcia shares the same name and birthday as a teen who was involved in a botched robbery near Lakeland that turned deadly.

Garcia's photo was released by investigators, and he was dubbed a criminal. It left him and his mother, back in Hollywood, fearing the worst. "I've kept every certificate he's ever gotten. This little thing, if he wouldn't have Googled himself, would have destroyed him," said his mom, Robyn Garcia.

The real murder suspect is named Zachery Garcia, but the college student spells his name with an "A". The other Zachery spells his name with an "E", and while they were born on the same month and day, they are a year apart in age. "How weird is that?" said his mom.

Garcia said he's glad he was able to catch and correct the mistake. "Everybody makes mistakes. I work at Publix and I might get somebody's sub wrong, but for somebody to get, you know, that wrong it's not a sandwich, it's somebody's life you are playing with," he said.

The police said they plan to issue an apology to the student.

via WSVN-TV - Student mistaken for murder suspect.

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