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Student Googles Himself, Finds He’s Murder Suspect


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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 — (ABC News: Technology) –


By KI MAE HEUSSNER



Dec. 1, 2010





Vanity Google searches — or, more specifically, Googling yourself — can uncover all kind of surprises.




But just imagine Florida student Zachary Garcia’s reaction when he Googled his name and discovered he was wanted for murder.



“At first, I was very shocked at the whole situation. Then I became very upset,” he said.



Earlier this week, after a late night shift as a DJ at a local club, the 18-year-old University of Florida student searched for himself online and discovered that his name and photograph were connected to a murder that took place in September. He said he awoke his mother with a 3 a.m. phone call to share the shocking news.



“I just wanted to get the whole situation dealt with. It was just very overwhelming having my name out there like that and being falsely charged with a felony murder. It’s not something you want to deal with every day,” he said.



In an official release, officers with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Zachary Garcia was charged with murder, though it was actually another man, Zachery Garcia (with an “e”) who was the real murder suspect.



Based on that release, the story was reported by several media outlets that also broadcast photos of the wrong Garcia in connection with the alleged murder.



Scott Wilder, a spokesman with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, said the two men not only have very similar names but also share the same birthday, one year apart. Zachary Garcia was born on March 6, 1992, while Zachery Garcia was born on March 6, 1993, Wilder said.



Zachery Garcia was charged with murder after he and three other teens attempted to break into an occupied home in Davenport, Fla. in September. The homeowner shot two of the intruders during the incident, one of whom ultimately died. The other teens, including Garcia, were charged with homicide because they were accessories to the crime, Wilder said.



The Zachery Garcia actually charged with murder was arrested and sentenced to a juvenile facility in October.



Garcia, the innocent student, had found the news reports that were posted shortly after sheriff’s department’s September release.



“We made a mistake — a serious mistake. And we’ve apologized. The sheriff has sent Zachary a formal letter,” Wilder said. “It’s basically just one of those bizarre and unfortunate coincidences that occurred.”



To view the original article, click here: http://feeds.abcnews.com/click.phdo?i=2bc58b93acdd4cc11dff3daa69ea1021


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