By Jeff Weiner, Orlando Sentinel
5:58 PM CDT, March 23, 2012
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last month, remains a mysterious figure as the controversy surrounding him continues to grow.
In hiding since the shooting, little is publicly known about him. However, new details have emerged, shedding light on Zimmerman's religious upbringing and his employment before the shooting.
Two sources have confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel that Zimmerman is, or until recently was, an employee at the Maitland office of Digital Risk, LLC, a mortgage risk-management firm.
The sources — one is a former employee, the other currently works for the firm, which also has offices in Jacksonville, New York, Dallas and Denver — spoke to the Sentinel on condition of anonymity, because they are not authorized to speak to the media.
Information provided to the Sentinel by one source indicates that Zimmerman has not been to work since the shooting. His title was "forensic loan review analyst" — basically an underwriter.
A source also provided a more recent photo of Zimmerman than the 2005 mugshot that has been the primary image of him in the media. The new photo shows him smiling in a suit and tie.
Records show that he previously worked for used-car retailer CarMax and at a Lake Mary insurance company.
A spokeswoman for Digital Risk declined to confirm Zimmerman's employment, saying the firm does not release information about personnel. However, a source confirmed an internal email was circulated within the company, advising that an unnamed employee had received substantial media attention.
Employees were told in the email that the media attention was unrelated to his work, the source said.
The ex-employee who spoke to the Sentinel expressed shock about the shooting. That source described Zimmerman as an outgoing and friendly man.
"We used to talk to him every single day," the source said.
Though it's not clear what his current employment status is, a recording of Zimmerman's voice, stating his name, still plays when his extension at Digital Risk is called.
Meanwhile, a report in The Washington Post revealed new details about Zimmerman’s upbringing in Manassas, Va. Neighbors told the Post that Zimmerman’s family was “very Catholic...very religious,” and his father, Robert Zimmerman, a retired military man who could be strict.
The elder Zimmerman previously described his son as an altar boy in an interview with the Sentinel. Records also show that George Zimmerman has a tattoo on his chest of a cross, with the name, “Christina.”
The family’s Manassas pastor, Robert Cilinski, told the Post the Zimmermans “were known and respected in the community for their dedication and service.”
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