Ocala, Fla: The family and close associates of 17-year-old Sofia Lugo gathered for a vigil on a Wednesday evening following the recent apprehension of her boyfriend, who stands accused of her murder. Saul Garcia Macias, aged 21, was taken into custody 17 days after Lugo’s tragic demise. Garcia Macias informed law enforcement officers that he had been lost in the wilderness during this period.
In Marion County, Florida, the family and friends of 17-year-old Sofia Lugo came together for a vigil on Wednesday evening, shortly after deputies arrested her boyfriend, who has been accused of her murder.
For a period spanning 17 days, detectives from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office had sought to interview 21-year-old Saul Garcia Macias.
According to an official arrest report, Garcia Macias’ mother and her boyfriend reported awakening to loud noises at their bedroom door just before 1 a.m. on December 10th. Garcia Macias had claimed that “masked individuals” had entered the house and murdered his girlfriend. When the couple checked on Lugo, they alleged that Garcia Macias fled from the scene.
On Wednesday, more than two weeks after Lugo’s fatal shooting, the sheriff’s office received a phone call from Garcia Macias himself, stating that he had been lost in the woods throughout this time. He agreed to meet with detectives and denied any involvement in Lugo’s murder. Following this, he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
During the vigil on Wednesday evening, Lugo’s aunt expressed skepticism regarding Garcia Macias’ claims of innocence.
“There are various tests that the police can conduct to determine whether he discharged the weapon or not. So, if he had no involvement, he should not have fled. We believe that if he fled, it indicates something, perhaps guilt,” remarked Andrea Lugo-Aguirre.
Garcia Macias had prior encounters with law enforcement before the tragic incident involving Lugo’s murder. According to the sheriff’s office in 2016, he was suspected of being involved in a series of car burglaries at the age of 13. A year later, he engaged in a pursuit with deputies following a car break-in. In 2021, he was suspected of operating a vehicle from which a passenger fired shots at deputies before escaping.
Investigative authorities have requested that Garcia Macias be detained without bond, as he is in the country unlawfully and has a history of leaving the country when faced with legal issues, according to information provided by deputies.