Shortly after Orange County deputies say a female decomposed body was found on Friday near the search site of a missing 16-year-old girl, investigators named the girl's mother's boyfriend the prime suspect in her disappearance.
Authorities were searching an area near intersection of South Lake Wilson Road and Jahna Mine Road Friday morning for Alexandria Chery, 16, when they received a report from landscapers about discovering a body in a wooded area near ChampionsGate Reunion.
Deputies said the decomposed body was discovered off Osceola Polk Line Road, also known as State Road 532. It's not clear how long the body was in the wooded area and there has been no determination if this is the body of Alexandria, deputies said. The body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office for identification on Friday afternoon.
"The medical examiner has been able to remove the body and we're starting to find out who the woman is who was found in the woods," said Sgt. Jane Watrel of OCSO. "We're already getting dental records to the medical examiner's office so that we can rule in and rule out whether this woman is Alexandria Chery."
Deputies said they are also naming Sanel SaintSimon, who was arrested on Wednesday on charges of lying to law enforcement, as the prime suspect in Alexandria's disappearance and say he isn't cooperating with the investigation.
SaintSimon is accused of lying to law enforcement about where he was when Chery disappeared on Monday, lying to them about cleaning the apartment and bloody areas with bleach and lying to them about the car he had used on Monday during the time Alexandria went missing.
Deputies said they are still "conducting searches in the disappearance of the popular 16-year-old, and we are using every resource to bring her home."
A prayer service and candlelight vigil are planned for Alexandria on Friday at 7 p.m. at 6868 Silver Star Road.
Alexandria's uncle, Ray Joseph, tells Local 6 the family is awaiting news as deputies investigate the body found in the search area. Upon discovering that the body found was female, he says Alex's mother was so overrun with emotion she couldn't speak.
"Me and my family are heart broken. The fact that they did find someone and it's a female," Joseph said. "When she heard the news she couldn't talk to no one. She was just crying."
Osceola County, Polk County and FDLE authorities are working closely with Orange County investigators.
SaintSimon remains at Orange County jail on $7,650 bond.
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