Alexandria Chery’s body was discovered four days after her mother, Rosalie Joseph, reported her missing. The body was found just 40 minutes from her home. Rosalie’s boyfriend, Sanel Saint Simon, has been arrested and charged in the 16-year-old’s disappearance.
However, new charges were filed on Monday against Simon, which is the primary suspect in the disappearance the Olympia High School student. Simon is now facing felony charges after remains discovered on Friday were “preliminarily identified” as Chery’s, according to court documents. Authorities charged him with felony obstruction of a criminal investigation and a tampering charge.
“The remains of a small-framed female were discovered near Interstate 4 and the ChampionsGate community on Friday,” the Sun Sentinel reports. “Officials said the body had “numerous similar features and characteristics” of the Olympia High School student.”
At a brief afternoon hearing regarding the Alexandria Chery case, Circuit Judge Renee Roche temporarily set Saint Simon’s bail at $500,000 on the tampering charge. The state had asked for the high bail. Prosecutor Ryan Vescio said:
“We believe that the nature and circumstances of the crimes charged are very, very serious.”
Defense attorney Melissa Vickers argued Saint Simon’s bail on a low-level felony should not be as high as a killer’s. Vickers said:
“If they have evidence to charge Mr. Saint Simon with murder, then they need to charge him.”
Soon after the hearing, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said it had filed another felony against Saint Simon: obstruction of a criminal investigation. The agency asked for him to be held without bail, a request to be heard today.
A motion filed Monday revealed the body found near Interstate 4 and the ChampionsGate community had “numerous similar features and characteristics” of 16-year-old Alexandria, though “scientific confirmation” is still pending.
Meanwhile, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said its detectives “believe enough probable cause exists to prove Alexandria Chery is deceased.”
The body was found after a landscaper smelled a foul odor near woods along Osceola Polk Line Road on Thursday, according to Saint Simon’s arrest report.
The worker said he saw vultures circling and initially assumed an animal had died. He thought back to the smell while discussing Alexandria’s case with a coworker, and decided to return Friday morning.
That’s when he found the body “decomposed beyond recognition,” but described in the report as a small-framed female. Also found were several items “consistent with items described to be on Alexandria,” the report stated.
Another landscaper reported seeing a black Pontiac Grand Prix parked along Osceola Polk Line Road.
Deputies say Saint Simon borrowed a black Grand Prix from a family member the night before Alexandria went missing. Authorities found blood inside the car, the report stated.
Alexandria Chery was last seen July 28 when her mother, Rosalie Joseph, left the teen at their apartment in the Hawthorne Groves community. When Joseph returned home from work, Alexandria was gone.