ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The uncle of the missing 16-year-old Orange County girl told Local 6 on Thursday the man arrested in connection with her disappearance has had trouble with the teen before.
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Alexandria Chery was reported missing on Monday by her mother after she returned home from work to find her daughter's clothes removed from the closet and her bedding gone.
The man arrested on Wednesday in Alexandria's disappearance, Sanel SaintSimon, is the boyfriend of the girl's mother and Alexandria's uncle Ray Joseph said SaintSimon had touched Alexandria inappropriately before.
"I never trusted him to begin with," said Joseph, who added that SaintSimon had touched Alexandria sexually about a year ago and no one ever reported it to authorities.
Joseph said SaintSimon was allowed to stay in the house but wasn't supposed to ever be alone with Alexandria.
"I'm wishing she did take the proper precaution and take it to authorities, but now it's kind of too late," Joseph said. "Our niece is out there, her daughter is out there, and no where to be found."
SaintSimon is accused of lying to law enforcement about where he was when Chery disappeared, 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.
Orange County deputies said they were investigating several tips on Alexandria's disappearance and were searching for her Thursday on the ground and using high-tech tools. Deputies said they were doing a search in the ChampionsGate area related to the investigation and that they will continue to search in Polk County, along with Orange County.
Orange County sheriff's deputies say they found what appears to be blood spatter on a teddy bear in the girl's room, as well as down the hallway of the apartment they lived in off of Good Homes Road.
On Thursday afternoon, a large group of Chery's friends from Olympia High School and family gathered at the Publix grocery store at the corner of Good Homes Road and W. Colonial Drive to keep attention focused on finding her. They put up fliers around the area.
SaintSimon remains at Orange County jail on $7,650 bond.
If you have any information on Alexandria's whereabouts, you're asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
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