A body found in a wooded area near the Polk-Osceola county line is that of missing teenager Alexandria Chery, according to a family member.
A female body was found in a wooded area Friday morning, but deputies said it still has not been positively identified.
“The ME’s Office will exhaust additional efforts to complete this grim task,” Jane Watrel, a sheriff’s spokeswoman, said in a statement. “In the meantime, OCSO investigators will move forward with their tireless efforts as if the recovered body is that of Alexandria Chery.”
Chery hasn’t been seen or heard from since Monday, and Orange County deputies were focusing their search in the Champions Gate area of Polk County.
“It hurts my heart every day – the fact that my niece is out there, and nobody has found her yet, and now they found a body. We’re not sure if it’s her yet. If they do find a body, I’m hoping it’s not hers,” Chery’s uncle Ray Joseph said.
According to relatives, it was GPS information on Chery’s cell phone that brought them to the area near Johna Mine Road.
Sanel Saint Simon, 43, the longtime boyfriend of Chery’s mother, has been arrested and charged with providing false information to a law enforcement officer and attempted destruction of evidence.
According to his arrest affidavit, Saint Simon is accused of cleaning blood spatter in the home and lying to detectives about his whereabouts on the day of Chery’s disappearance.
He is being held on $7,500 bail and has two “holds” on him – one of which is related to immigration.