Missing Fla. Teen Who 'Everybody Loved' Is Found Dead in Swampy Area, as Family Seeks Justice
26th February 2021

A suspect has been arrested in the death of an 18-year-old Florida teen whose body was found in a swamp.

On Tuesday, 18-year-old Charlie Roberts, Jr. was reported missing after his family tracked his cell phone to Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area, a nature preserve in Central Florida.

Sumter County officials began searching for Roberts in the densely wooded, swampy area that encompasses 50,000 acres throughout three counties. They used helicopters, ATVs and drones until Wednesday night, when they found his body.

While an official cause of death has not been determined, officials believe Roberts was shot to death.

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On Thursday, David Anthony Gracia, of Lakeland, was arrested on first-degree murder charges in Roberts' death. The relationship between Roberts and his alleged killer remains unknown. Police have not released a motive.

Gracia is being held in Sumter County Detention Center with no bail.

While authorities continue to investigate Roberts' death, the teen's family is demanding justice.

"I want the person to be prosecuted to the fullest, of course. This was a family member, a child, nobody deserves death," the teen's cousin William Gamble told Fox13.

Gamble is also hoping for some answers in his loved one's murder.

"What would cause you to want to kill a child? What did he do so wrong that it deserved death…and to be left where he was left at?" he said, the station reports. 

The investigation into Roberts' death remains ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to call the Sumter County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at (352)-569-1680 or Crimeline at 1-(800)-423-TIPS.

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