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California gamer drove to Texas to kill teen he met online: Cops

Authorities have identified the 23-year-old California man they believe made a 3,400-mile round trip over 72 hours last month to kill another man he met via an online game, the Flower Mound, Texas, Police Department announced Friday.

Flower Mound police found Matthew Thane, 18, dead from a gunshot wound outside his home early on August 18 and launched an investigation that led to Alexander Frank Baro of Pleasanton, California, as a possible suspect, as CrimeOnline previously reported.

Pleasanton officers, including a SWAT team, and two Flower Mound detectives who had come to California to assist, surrounded Baro’s home at about 11 p.m. on August 19. Flower Mound police said that “Baro took his own life as police were attempting to have him to exit his residence.” On Friday, Flower Mound police said Baro was the “sole suspect” in Thane’s death.

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Police said data from Baro’s cell phone linked him to the murder, along with evidence collected at his home. A Bay Area police official said last month that the suspect set a propane tank on fire outside Thane’s home and shot him when he came outside to investigate.

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Posted by Flower Mound Police Department on Friday, September 11, 2020

 

Investigators in California and Texas said it appears the two met on an online game, but they are still combing through evidence, including data on both Thane’s and Baro’s gaming devices.

“Detectives are still processing several pieces of evidence as part of the active and ongoing investigation,” Flower Mound police said. “More information will be released when available.”

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[Featured image: Matthew Thane/GoFundMe]