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In audio of police call, Trayvon Martin's father worries about his son

Julie Fletcher / AP

Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, speaks before a rally in Sanford, Fla., in March.

SANFORD, Fla. -- Before anyone in 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's family knew he had been shot in a gated community here, and before 28-year-old George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in Martin’s death more than six weeks later – before the protests in between, and before the anguish – there was a confused father worried for his son’s whereabouts.

In recordings provided to NBC News under Florida public records laws, Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, speaks with Seminole County dispatchers more than 13 hours after his son was killed.


From the call made to the non-emergency line at the county Sheriff's Office at 8:39 a.m. Feb. 27, it’s clear that Tracy Martin is unaware of what’s happened as he asks if he can file a “missing persons report.”


Click here to listen to Tracy Martin's call for help

Click here to listen to police dispatch calling Tracy Martin back

“I’m from Miami. And my son’s up here with me,” Martin can be heard saying, adding,  “He don’t know anybody up here.”

Father and son are from Miami Gardens – outside the city – but the two had traveled to Sanford to visit with Tracy Martin’s girlfriend. 

“Do you know the address?” the dispatcher asks.

“What’s the address, baby?” Martin can be heard saying – presumably to his girlfriend.

Martin goes on to say he hasn’t seen his son since 8 or 8:30 the prior night. 

A second county dispatcher representing the Sanford Police Department called Martin back sometime later, asking for details about his son. Does his son have a driver’s license?

“No, he don’t,” Mr. Martin says.

“Ok, does not have a DL,” the dispatcher says.  “And is he white, black, or Hispanic?”

“He’s black,” Martin says.

Mary Altaffer / AP

Trayvon Martin is seen in a poster image during a rally in New York in March.

Asked if Trayvon knows anyone in the area whose house he might have gone to, Martin says no.

“I have a nephew up here,” Martin says, “but he’s not at my nephew house. He hasn’t been over there, either.”

 “OK, alright then,” the dispatcher says. “The officers are already on the way. I just want to get a little further – in case, you know, while they’re on the way they might spot him so we can let them know.”

But police, of course, do not find Trayvon. His body, though not yet identified, had been recovered from the scene of the shooting the night before.

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Trayvon reportedly was watching NBA basketball on TV on the evening of Feb. 26, then walked to a 7-Eleven store to pick up some Skittles and a canned drink. 

As the teenager returned from the convenience store, he and neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman crossed paths inside the gated community, and sometime later a fight ensued.

Though several witnesses told law enforcement they saw and heard portions of the fight, no witness so far has said with certainty what happened throughout.

How the fight between Trayvon and Zimmerman ended is by now well-known – and left only one of those two men alive.

Trayvon was killed when Zimmerman fired his Kel-Tec 9mm handgun at the teenager – shooting him through the heart, according to autopsy reports.

Zimmerman was charged on April 11 with second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty. 

Sanford police officers have said Zimmerman claimed on the night of the shooting that he acted in self-defense. Teams of investigators reached varying conclusions on Zimmerman’s claim, which delayed an arrest. A special prosecutor, Assistant State Attorney Angela Corey, was assigned on March 22.

Click here to see Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s executive order assigning Angela Corey to the case

George Zimmerman is in the Seminole County jail in solitary confinement after his bond was revoked earlier this month.

He has a bail hearing set for June 29.

Twitter: Follow Kerry Sanders at @KerryNBC  |  Follow Jamie Novogrod at @JamieNBCNews

NBC News' Tom Winter contributed to this report.

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