Search continues for Florida man who left manslaughter trial for lunch, didn’t return

Zachery Waldo, 36, facing charges of failing to appear in court

Zachary Waldo, 36 (ClickOrlando 2023)

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Leesburg police continue to search for a man who they said went to lunch during his DUI manslaughter trial this week and never returned.

According to a tweet Thursday from Leesburg police, there is now a warrant for the arrest of 36-year-old Zachery Waldo for failure to appear in court.

Waldo is on trial in connection with a DUI crash on Christmas Eve in 2019 that killed Christopher Smith, Jessica Smith and their 13-year-old daughter, according to court documents.

During his trial on Wednesday, officials said Waldo left for a lunch break but did not return.

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According to police, Waldo has fled from law enforcement in the past, and has a history of committing battery against law enforcement.

Anyone who comes in contact with Waldo is advised to proceed with caution.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office told News 6 while there is not an “active manhunt” for Waldo, they are on the lookout for him.

Anyone who sees Waldo or has information about his location is asked to call the Leesburg Police Department at 352-787-2121.


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