The remains of Orlando teenager Alexandria Chery have been identified several days after her body was discovered. The sixteen-year-old was reported missing on July 28. A suspect was arrested on July 30. Sanel Saint Simon is being held in an Orlando jail as sheriffs continue their investigation. The case has been widely covered in local media including on WKMG TV.
Media reports, interviews with family members and law enforcement officials seem to be creating a perception that Saint Simon is guilty before he has been charged. Chery's family members were already declaring him guilty of murder before an autopsy had even confirmed that the recovered body was Alexandria Chery's. In the days since his arrest, the Orlando Sentinel has confirmed that the body was Alexandria Chery.
Though Saint Simon has not been accused of the most serious crime, he is "accused of trying to destroy evidence and lying to authorities while the search for her was underway." These charges alone, even if substantiated, do not indicate that he had anything to do with her disappearance. The public, and law enforcement officials, should be continually reminded that the Constitution must always be prioritized. This will become even more important as this case will likely gain more media coverage over the coming weeks and months while the public's perceptions continue to be manipulated. The girl's family, understandably, is making impassioned pleas for answers but such passion should not pollute the investigation.