Crime

Boy, 15, charged in death of Kentucky baseball player responding to online ad in North Carolina

Zachary Finch
Zachary Finch University of the Cumberlands

A 15-year-old has been charged in the killing of a college baseball player who allegedly was killed in Charlotte, N.C., while responding to an ad on an online sales app similar to Craigslist.

The teen, whose name was not released because of his age, is charged with murder in the killing of Zachary Joseph Finch, 21, who pitched for Kentucky’s University of the Cumberlands. He was on a full scholarship with the program, his family has said.

Detectives have not said what led them to the suspect. The teen was arrested Thursday, but the investigation remains open, officials said. The arrest was announced Friday.

Finch was killed about 1:30 p.m. June 18, in the 2300 block of Farmer Street. Officers found him lying on the ground in the front yard of an apartment. He diedat the scene.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police refused to directly connect his death to a sale made through an online buying and selling app, but other news outlets have reported that he was meeting someone to complete an online sale. WSOC-TV identified the app as Letgo.

Police have said Finch was engaged in a legal activity, but they haven’t provided further details.

After Finch’s homicide, police offered advice about staying safe when meeting in person to complete a digital sale or deal. Among the tips were to meet in a public place.

“Tell people where you’re going, what it is you’re doing,” Charlotte police Sgt. Susan Manassah said. “If it’s too good to be true, then it’s not real.”

Finch’s older brother, Nicholas, said Zachary was studying public health, with one year left to go before graduation.

His parents moved to the Charlotte area from south Florida a couple of years ago, and their three children attended college in different states.

University of the Cumberlands President Larry Cockrum said last month, “Zach was an incredible young man with a very bright future.”

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