The brother of a man killed in Charlotte this week faced cameras Tuesday, nearly breaking down as he begged the public for any information on his brother’s death, which is still unsolved.
Zachary Finch, 21, died Sunday. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police refused to directly connect his death to a sale made through Craigslist or a similar site, but other news outlets have reported that he was meeting someone to complete an online sale.
CMPD Sgt. Susan Manassah said Finch was engaged in a legal activity, but she wouldn’t provide more details.
In her advice about how to stay safe, Manassah focused on in-person meetings that follow a digital connection through a buying and selling service such as Craigslist or a dating app.
She said to meet in a public place where both parties feel comfortable, and to cancel the meeting if the other person isn’t willing to meet somewhere safe. Like other police departments, CMPD welcomes using the parking lots of police stations for the meetings.
“Tell people where you’re going, what it is you’re doing,” Manassah said. “If it’s too good to be true, then it’s not real.”
Finch’s older brother Nicholas called him loving and bubbly – a team player devoted to his baseball team at Kentucky’s University of the Cumberlands, where he pitched on a full scholarship.
“He always motivated everyone around him,” his brother said.
Finch was studying public health, with one year left to go before graduation.
Finch’s parents moved to the Charlotte area from south Florida a couple of years ago, and their three children attended college in different states. The family was planning to get together for the first time in months for the Fourth of July.
Nicholas Finch refused to comment on why his brother had come to the west Charlotte apartment complex where he was shot on Sunday.
Manassah called Charlotte’s rising homicide rate “senseless,” and said what happened to Finch could have happened to anyone.
She said police are especially eager to gather information from any possible witnesses because Finch was shot at about 1:30 on a Sunday afternoon.
“There’s windows, there’s parks, there’s kids playing. People were outside,” she said.