(As originally published, Tue, January 2nd 2024)
OCALA, Fla. (TND) — A 17-year-old girl was shot to death and her boyfriend, who was considered a person of interest, disappeared. Authorities said he later claimed he was lost in the woods. Now, after two weeks, he’s under arrest.
Sheriff’s deputies in Florida said Sofia Lugo had been shot after midnight on Dec. 10.
According to the arrest report, it happened in her boyfriend’s bedroom, and his mother called police. It also said she told them her son, 21-year-old Saul Garcia Macias, wasn’t home.
But, detectives said they “conducted interviews and learned that Garcia Macias had stated he had ‘done something’ to Sophia before fleeing the scene.”
They spoke to his mother who said she was “woken up by a thump that she thought was her cat,” then got out of bed and saw “the victim in her son’s bedroom but that no one else was at the residence.”
She ran outside to look for her son but couldn’t find him and then “went back inside the residence and the bedroom where the victim was located, and found a cell phone.” Deputies said the 911 call actually came from Sofia, the victim’s, phone.
Sofia’s mother told detectives her daughter “was seeing someone new.
“According to [the mother], the victim never told her mother the new boyfriend’s name but believed that it was ‘Saul’ because she recently got the name tattooed on her arm.”
Then, they “confronted” Garcia Macias’ mother again “with information that she had not been honest earlier in the morning.”
They said she “admitted to lying,” and that she and her boyfriend were asleep “when the defendant woke her up by banging on her bedroom door.”
She said her son told her “masked men came into the residence and killed his girlfriend,” that “they grabbed his girlfriend and shot her.”
She told her son “she was calling the police and the defendant told her not to,” and her boyfriend “woke up and overheard what was being said so he left” and drove away.
Then, when she called the police, her son disappeared.
Finally, he called from a convenience store on Dec. 27 and said “he heard that deputies wanted to speak with him but did not know why.”
The arrest report said he told them “he was lost in the woods since the night of the murder.
“He advised he has just been walking in the woods until he found the store and asked to use the phone.”
He denied shooting his girlfriend and “claimed that since he left the house, he had not been in contact with anyone and has been wandering lost in the woods.”
But detectives noticed, “His white sneakers and clothes were clean, and the clothing items were not what he was observed wearing on surveillance cameras the day after the shooting.”
Garcia Macias was charged with second-degree murder.
The arrest report called him “an undocumented immigrant from Mexico” and according to detectives, “He is an illegal immigrant who has been known to leave the country when in trouble with law enforcement.”
The arrest report listed some examples of trouble:
“On 11/25/2016, suspect Saul Garcia Macias was suspected in a string of vehicle burglaries at the age of 13.”
Less than a year later, “On 08/14/2017, suspect Saul Garcia Macias was suspected in vehicle burglaries occurring in Ocala. … [A deputy] attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, which fled from him. The pursuit was ended, and Saul Garcia Macias was the driver. He was arrested and charged with fleeing and attempt to elude law enforcement, as well as vehicle burglary.”
Later, “On 02/02/2021, suspect Saul Garcia Macias was suspected of being the driver in a vehicle that fled from law enforcement while the passenger of that vehicle fired gunshots at an MCSO detective.”
This time, he’s being held without bond.