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Arrest made in murder of Lakeland teenager found in Sumter County

Charlie-Roberts-SumterSO.jpg
Posted at 10:53 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 12:13:09-05

LAKELAND, Fla.  — A 19-year-old from Lakeland is facing first-degree murder charges after his arrest on Thursday, according to the Sumter County Sheriff's Office.

David Gracia, 19, is charged with killing Charlie Roberts, 18, whose body was found on Wednesday after his family reported him missing to Lakeland Police.

Roberts was found in the Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area in Sumter County. The sheriff's office says he was last seen with Gracia on Tuesday in Lakeland.

Roberts' phone history led authorities to the Green Swamp.

According to a press release, Roberts' preliminary cause of death is from a firearm.

Detectives say Gracia turned himself in Thursday after an arrest warrant was obtained. He's being held without bond pending trial.

No other information has been released at this time.

The investigation remains active and anyone with information is asked to call the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 352-569-1680 or to remain anonymous contact Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS(8477).

The Sumter County Sheriff's Office says the search for Roberts involved drones, ATVs, K9s and helicopters. As well as assistance from FWC, Lakeland PD and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.