If the story of 16-year-old Alexandria Chery wasn't tragic enough, allegations that have appeared on social media in the few days since a body "preliminarily identified" -- identification just short of positive, which is effected through DNA and/or dental records -- as that of the Orlando teen suggest that her existence was a troubled one, full of secrets and sexual abuse that ultimately led to her possible death. Social media has been a firestorm of activity, the International Business Times reported Aug. 4, as Twitter and Facebook saw enormous volumes of traffic regarding the young woman's case, but one posting under #RIPALEX got the most attention for its gruesome bluntness not only about Alexandria Chery's relationship with her mother's boyfriend, Sanel SaintSimon, but also the gory circumstances whereby she met her death.
According to the oft-retweeted #RIPALEX post on Twitter: "She Was So Young, Raped, Impregnated & Killed. This Shouldn't Have Happened, Rest Easy Baby Girl. #RIPALEX." With the damning post came a longer, more expository detailing of what Alexandria Chery's life allegedly was like.
“Her stepfather had been raping her since the age of 5,” the viral Twitter post read in part. “Her stepfather would get Alex anything she wanted so she wouldn’t tell. Unfortunately, she got impregnated by him and he cut the fetus out [the baby] and left it in the backseat of the car, and Alex in the woods to rot.”
But if the allegations of repeated rape, impregnation, and a double murder are true, the Orlando teen's life assuredly was a living nightmare. However, the horrific details of sexual abuse have not been confirmed by authorities or anyone other than the rapid-fire rumor mill that is social media. However, prior to the remains being found that the family has been told are indeed the remains of the missing teen, Alexandria's uncle, Ray Joseph, told reporters that family members had been informed that Sanel SaintSimon, the girl's mother's boyfriend, had allegedly touched Alexandria "inappropriately" in the past, according to a couple of other family members the teen had confided in. Joseph could only speculate as to why something wasn't done at the time, something that perhaps could have pre-empted his neice going missing.
Alexandria Chery went missing on July 28, on a day that she had told her mother, Rosalie Joseph, she wasn't feeling well and was going to stay home. But when her mother attempted to call her via cell phone, she never received an answer. Fears that something was amiss exploded into true panic when she, upon returning home after work, found her daughter's room in disarray, a pair of men's underwear that reeked of bleach under her daughter's bed, and dried blood splattered in different places around the girl's bedroom, in the hall, and in the bathroom.
On July 30, Rosalie Joseph's boyfriend, Sanel SaintSimon, was arrested for supplying misleading information and being uncooperative with police during the investigation. As was reported by the Orlando Sentinel, he was also charged with attempting to destroy evidence of a crime. After following a few leads, police theorized that something had triggered an act of violence, where the 16-year-old was killed and SaintSimon was forced to get rid of the teen's body. Police believe SaintSimon tried to clean up Alexandria's bedroom and wipe it down with bleach. He then borrowed his uncle's car to dispose of the body and abandoned it. His uncle, who had originally told police that he had not loaned the car to his nephew, later admitted he had, that SaintSimon had asked him not to tell police he had borrowed the car.
Police also discovered that SaintSimon had not worked his full shift at work, even though he told them that he had. Instead, he got off early that day.
After the remains were found, SaintSimon's charges, misdemeanors, were increased to felony counts.
The horrific allegations got plenty of traffic via Facebook as well with the “RIP Alex” fan page, which has been "liked" over 51,000 times to date.
But the question remains: Are any of the allegations true? Are these actual intimate details of a secret relationship of rape and child sexual abuse with her mother's boyfriend or simply the work of someone attempting to get a public reaction (sort of like the rewards for those who create viruses, hack, and/or create urban myths)? Even considering the allegations made by Alexandria's uncle, that SaintSimon may have molested Alexandria at a younger age, molestation does not necessarily mean murder. But hiding such actions certainly provides motive for one.