Body found during search for missing Florida teen

Alexandria Chery

CBS affiliate WKMG

ORLANDO, Fla. - Deputies in Orange County say a female decomposed body was found Friday near the search site for a missing teenage girl, reports CBS affiliate WKMG.

Authorities were searching for 16-year-old Alexandria Chery on Friday morning, according to the station, when deputies said landscapers in Osceola County called police around 9:30 a.m. to report finding a body in a wooded area near Interstate 4.

Alexandria was reported missing on Monday by her mother, who returned home from work to find her daughter's clothes and bedding gone from her apartment in Orange County, WKMG reports. The mother's boyfriend, 43-year-old Sanel Saint Simon, was arrested in connection with the girl's disappearance on Wednesday.

Sanel Saint Simon, whose girlfriend's teen daughter has gone missing in Orlando, was arrested Wednesday, July 30, 2014 and accused of lying to investigators in the case.
CBS affiliate WKMG

"I know there is obviously great anticipation trying to determine if [the found body] was Alexandria Chery or not," said Capt. Angelo Nieves, according to the Orland Sentinel. "We're going to go very slowly and very methodically in order to preserve all the evidence that is available to us."

According to the station, Saint Simon is accused of lying to police officers about where he was when Alexandria went missing, as well as allegedly lying about cleaning up bloody areas of the apartment with bleach. Police have also said he lied to them about using a car on Monday during the time Alexandria went missing.

Saint Simon has been charged with giving false information and attempting to destroy evidence in the investigation.

The station reports it is unclear how long the body was in the area. Officers said it will be taken to the Medical Examiner's Office for identification.

A prayer service and candlelight vigil are planned in Alexandria's honor for Friday at 7 p.m. The disappeared girl's uncle told WKMG the family is awaiting news as officials work to identify the body.

Saint Simon is being held at Orange County jail on $7,650 bond.