Bodies found burning ID'd as students

Sheriff's deputies say students attended Winter Park High School

Nicholas Presha, 16, and Jeremy Stewart, 18.
Nicholas Presha, 16, and Jeremy Stewart, 18.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orange County sheriff's deputies have identified the bodies that were discovered burning along a popular bike trail as two Winter Park High School students.

Deputies identified the bodies as Nicholas Presha, 16, and Jeremy Stewart, 18.

Deputies told Local 6 that Nicholas is the son of Bernie Presha, an investigator for the state attorney's office and former Captain with the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

"One of our retired captains is the father of one of the deceased, so it makes it really special and touching," said Sheriff Jerry Demings. "We do have some good leads.  We hope to see justice for these deaths in the very near future."

Friends of the boys said Nicholas Presha's father told them his son snuck out of the house around 2 a.m. Sunday. He tried to look for him, but he never came home.

Friends said they were just typical teens who got into a little trouble from time to time.

We looked into their past and according to the FDLE website, both teens were arrested in January by Winter Park police for grand theft of a motor vehicle and resisting an officer.

The principal of Winter Park High School left voicemails to parents informing them of the students' deaths on Wednesday.

"This is a tragic loss to our school and our community and we extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the students who have lost their lives," said Principal Tim Smith.

Orange County Public Schools said FCAT testing is canceled for Winter Park High School sophomore students on Thursday.

The bodies were found by two bicyclists around 6:40 a.m. Sunday morning just off Cady Way Trail near Full Sail University.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday also released 911 calls in the case.

"What's your emergency?" a dispatcher asks.

"I can't tell if there is two mannequins or two people burning," the caller said.

"Describe it to me again," the dispatcher said.

"It's either two mannequins or two bodies," the caller replied.

"OK, and nothing is moving or anything?" the dispatcher asked.

"No," the 911 caller said.

Deputies said a charred area near a storage unit at the nearby Sun Bay Apartments complex is somehow related to the deaths.

Jasmine Sanchez said her husband heard arguing outside their door between 2 and 3 a.m. Sunday at the apartments. That's just hours before the two bodies were found.

"It does worry me because I have a daughter, so how could it not worry me for her safety? What's going to happen to us? What's going to happen to the neighborhood? Nobody feels safe around here anymore. We can't even walk around," Sanchez said.

Residents of the complex said deputies have been asking if anyone heard gunshots early Sunday morning.

A candlelight vigil is being held in honor of Presha and Stewart Thursday night from 7 to 10 p.m. on Cady Way Trail near Metric Drive.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.