George Zimmerman surfaces in voicemail to supporter

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After nearly a month of silence, George Zimmerman finally emerged on Friday, in the form of a voicemail left on the answering machine of his most vocal supporter.

Frank Taaffe, a former block captain at the Sanford, Florida gated community where Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26th, said Zimmerman left a message on his phone, which Taaffe released to the media on Friday. The message came from an unknown number.

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“Hey Mr. Taaffe,” the message began, “This is George. Um, first and foremost, I wanted to say I am very sorry for the loss of your son, and, um, I can’t imagine what you must be going through. Um, secondly, I wanted to thank you for doing everything you’ve been doing. Um, I know you don’t have to, and I appreciate it, and you’re truly setting an example for me for the future of, uh, doing the right thing even when it’s tough, and, uh, I appreciate it. I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks.”

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Taaffe said he recognized the voice as Zimmerman’s based on their contact at homeowners association meetings.

Zimmerman has not been seen publicly since news of the shooting went viral. Martin’s family and their supporters are calling for Zimmerman’s arrest, including more than 1 million people who signed an online petition posted on behalf of Martin’s family. Sanford police say they are barred from doing so, since officers on the scene determined the shooting was justified.

Zimmerman’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Lester Holt will have much more on the Trayvon Martin case and the Zimmerman call on Dateline, Sunday at 7 pm.

Follow Joy Reid on Twitter at @thereidreport