Murder suspect arrested after seven years

By DeeAnna Haney | Jun 06, 2014

CANTON — A man suspected of murdering a teenager in Canton seven years ago has been arrested.

Nereo Fernandez Garcia, now 35, was arrested last week while attempting to cross the border into Arizona.

Police have been searching for Garcia since he was identified as the suspect who fatally shot 19-year-old Wuillebaldo Garcia Diaz in the chest at Camelot Apartments on Newfound Street in April 2007.

Diaz was a native of Vera Cruz, Mexico, and was employed as a contract carpenter. He had lived with his two brothers and a sister at the apartments for about six months before he was killed.

At the time, it was the first fatality in Canton since 1974, when Canton Police Officer George Rogers was shot in the head while responding to a domestic dispute, according to an article published in The Mountaineer.

Canton Police Chief Bryan Whitner said it's believed Garcia has been residing in Mexico since the murder.

Canton police flew to Yuma, Arizona to pick up Garcia, who is now in custody at the Haywood County Detention Center. Garcia speaks only a little English, Whitner said, and requires an interpreter. He is scheduled to appear in court June 9.