The family of Alexandria Chery found out that the decomposed female body pulled from a wooded area near Osceola-Polk Line Road was that of the missing 16-year-old girl, her uncle says.
The girl's uncle, Ray Joseph, posted the news on Instagram Saturday evening.
"I'm sorry Orlando. Alex's body was the body that was found. Pray for my family," he wrote.
Joseph said a detective called his sister and told her the body was Alexandria's.
"She wanted me to come home and when I got home she broke down the news to me," he said. "I don't know what to feel right now. It's very devastating."
Orange County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jane Watrel said officials continue to work with the Medical Examiner's Office to seek the identity of the recovered body. An autopsy was conducted, and the results have not yet yielded a positive identification, she said.
"In the meantime, OCSO investigators will move forward with their tireless efforts as if the recovered body is that of Alexandria Chery," Watrel said. "We have briefed the family of Alexandria Chery, as they go through this agonizing wait. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time, but a positive identification has not been made at this time."
Meanwhile, Sanel Saint Simon, 43, remains in Orange County Jail. He was named the prime suspect in the girl's disappearance Friday afternoon.
Saint Simon — the longtime live-in boyfriend of Alexandria's mother — faces charges of providing false information to a law-enforcement officer and attempting to destroy evidence. As of Saturday night, no new charges had been filed against Saint Simon, according to jail officials.
Alexandria's mother, Rosalie Joseph, reported the girl missing Monday. The mother found blood splattered in her daughter's bedroom when she returned from work about 6 p.m. Alexandria's bedding and personal belongings were also missing, according to court documents.
Deputies said Saint Simon tried to clean up the blood with bleach.
Officials are seeking help from anyone who may have seen a black Pontiac being driven on County Road 532 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday. Saint Simon was possibly driving the vehicle, officials said.
He hasn't been cooperating with investigators, deputies said.
Here's a timeline of the key events before and after Alexandria's disappearance:
Sunday, July 27
•Alexandria's uncle, Ray Joseph, said he took her and other family members to the Mall at Millenia.
Monday, July 28
•12:47 a.m. Alexandria posted her last message on Twitter from her iPhone.
•7 a.m. Sanel Saint Simon arrived to work at Boston Market at 4621 S. Kirkman Road, according to deputies.
•8 a.m. Rosalie Joseph last saw Alexandria in her bed at their apartment in Hawthorne Groves. The 16-year-old girl planned to stay home for the day because she wasn't feeling well, records show.
•9:30 a.m. Saint Simon left his job "without clocking out," according to deputies.
•6 p.m. Rosalie Joseph returned home from work, and her daughter was nowhere to be found. Alexandria hadn't answered any of her mother's phone calls all day. Joseph said her daughter's bedroom "was completely different than when she left in the morning," and "almost all of her daughter's personal belongings were gone from the closets and dresser." The comforter, sheets and pillows were stripped from the bed, and an oversized stuff bear had "a moderate amount of blood or a substance on the foot." The mother contacted authorities to report her daughter missing.
Tuesday, July 29
•8:13 p.m. Orange County Sheriff's Office sent a media alert about the missing teen. It said: "There is concern for her well-being as this is considered to be an unusual circumstance for her to go missing and to have not contacted her family."
Wednesday, July 30
•1:44 a.m. Saint Simon, 43, is booked into Orange County Jail on charges of providing false information to a law-enforcement officer and attempted destruction of evidence.
•4 p.m. Orange County Sheriff Jerry L. Demings updated the media about the "extremely suspicious" disappearance of Alexandria Chery. "Saint Simon's lack of truthfulness about his actions on the day Alexandria went missing has raised our suspicions about Alexandria's well-being."
•4:39 p.m. The Sheriff's Office released photos of the black Pontiac it said Saint Simon borrowed from his uncle and possibly drove Monday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Thursday, July 31
•11:56 a.m. The Orange Sheriff's Office announced its continuing search for Alexandria in Polk and Orange counties and "via technology."
•2 p.m. Friends and family held a march at Publix near Good Homes Road to raise awareness about Alexandria's disappearance.
Friday, Aug. 1
•4 p.m. The medical examiner arrived and removed the body to make a positive identification.
•7 p.m. Family, friends gathered for a prayer vigil outside Grace Beauty Salon on North Hiawassee Road for Alexandria.
Saturday, Aug. 2
•8:37 p.m. Alexandria's uncle, Ray Joseph, posts on Instagram that the body was that of Alexandria.
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