The investigation into the death of 16-year-old Alexandria Chery is still open and active, Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jane Watrel said Aug. 14.
On July 29, Sanel St. Simon, 43, was arrested on charges of attempted destruction of evidence and obstructing a criminal investigation/giving false information to a law-enforcement officer during a missing persons investigation.
St. Simon, a Haitian citizen who speaks Creole, remained locked up Aug. 15 at the Orange County Jail, unable to post a $200,000 bond.
On Aug. 1, a worker found the decomposed body of a young black female in a wooded area off of Osceola Polk County Line Road, in Davenport, that later was identified as Alexandria’s. St. Simon was the boyfriend of Alexandria’s mother, Rosalie Joseph, and he lived with her and Alexandria at the Hawthorne Groves apartments at Good Homes and Old Winter Garden roads.
Joseph had reported her daughter — an Olympia High School student — missing on July 28. On that day, Joseph found most of Alexandria’s personal belongings gone from her closet and dresser, her bed stripped of all bedding, a stuffed bear that appeared to have blood on one of its feet and blood spatter on several areas of the residence, according to the arrest report.
Also on July 28, after speaking for about 15 minutes outside her residence with neighbors about her daughter’s disappearance, Joseph returned inside and noticed a wet area on the carpet and a strong odor of bleach coming from male underwear found under Alexandria’s bed, both of which she did not believe were there before she stepped outside, the report stated. St. Simon had been alone in the residence while Joseph was outside talking with her neighbors, the report stated.
A crime scene investigator would soon determine the spots of blood in the residence were human blood.
St. Simon allegedly lied to investigators about his whereabouts on July 28 and about how he had borrowed his cousin’s car — a black Grand Prix — on July 27-28. Investigators said St. Simon was seen on surveillance video driving this car towards his apartment at 9:55 a.m. July 28 in this vehicle, and driving away from the apartment in the Grand Prix at 12:37 p.m. that same day.
The worker who found Alexandria’s body told investigators he had seen a black Grand Prix parked along the roadway on Osceola Polk County Line Road on the afternoon of July 28.
As of Aug. 15, donors had given more than $6,900 toward the cost of Alexandria’s funeral expenses via the website, gofundme.com/cl4opg.