ORLANDO, Fla. --
The Sanford city commission rejected the resignation of the police chief harshly criticized for his handling of the Trayvon Martin case.
The commissioners voted 3-2 Monday to reject the resignation of Bill Lee. The majority blamed the uproar surrounding Martin's death on outsiders.
Police did not initially charge 28-year-old George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who says he shot the 17-year-old Martin in self-defense.
Florida law gives people broad leeway to use lethal force if they believe their lives are in grave danger. The Feb. 26 shooting sparked protests nationwide, as well as debates about the laws and race. Martin was black; Zimmerman is the son of a white father and Hispanic mother.
Lee temporarily stepped down as police chief on March 22, saying he wanted to let tensions cool.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
George Zimmerman, who slipped out of jail on $150,000 bail in the early morning darkness, went back into hiding Monday and likely fled to another state to avoid threats as he awaits his second-degree murder trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Even though authorities can pinpoint his location with a GPS ankle bracelet Zimmerman must wear 24-7, the public may not see him again for some time. Zimmerman has waived his appearance at his upcoming arraignment next month, so he can stay underground if he wants.
His release from jail came less than a day before the city commission was to vote to approve the permanent resignation of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, who was roundly criticized for not initially charging Zimmerman in the case.
Zimmerman already has experience laying low: For more than a month before his arrest, he eluded the media and his whereabouts were not known. His attorney has suggested he had several options for where Zimmerman can stay this time, and a judge indicated he was willing to let Zimmerman leave the state.
Until the next time he must come before a judge, Zimmerman will have to skip such routine pleasures as eating in a restaurant or taking a long stroll outside, said Jose Baez, a former attorney for Casey Anthony. Anthony, acquitted last summer of killing her 2-year-old daughter, went into hiding after her release from jail.
"He may be free, but he's not free," Baez said.
First, Zimmerman must limit who knows his whereabouts to avoid the risk someone will give the secret away, Baez said.
"Unfortunately, the people you think you trust, sometimes you find you just really can't," Baez said.
To throw off curious onlookers and the media, Zimmerman could change his look. Anthony went from a long-haired brunette to a bobbed blonde while serving a year of probation on an unrelated charge at an undisclosed location in Florida.
Next, Zimmerman needs to go someplace where he knows few people and they don't know him, said Evan Ratliff, who wrote the book (or at least the magazine article) on how to vanish in the 21st century. In 2009, Wired magazine challenged its readers to try to find Ratcliff, who deliberately vanished with the help of disguises, prepaid phones, fake business cards and software that protected his Internet identity, at least for a while. Ratliff eventually was caught because readers were able to trace him through the IP address of a computer he had used.
"He needs to be where he is not around people who are known to be close to him," Ratliff said. "Not a friend's house. Not a relative's house."
Zimmerman needs to refrain from making any public statements, whether via social media sites like Facebook or Twitter or his own website,http://www.therealgeorgezimmerman.com, both Baez and Ratliff said. Zimmerman is using his website to help raise money for his legal defense.
Early indications are that will be tough for Zimmerman to resist. After a judge agreed to release him on bond, a statement placed on his website said, "GZ hopes to be able to update the site in the next day or two, God willing. He sends his thanks for your thoughts and support."