North Fulton County

Police: Body found near pool believed to be missing teen

ROSWELL, Ga. — The medical examiner is still working to officially identify the body that was found near a swimming pool at an apartment complex Wednesday in Roswell.

However, police believe they know the identity of the victim.

Channel 2's North Fulton County Bureau Chief Mike Petchenik has learned police in Johns Creek received a report of a missing 17-year-old girl shortly before the body was found by a maintenance worker.

The missing teen was identified as Mercedes Chico-Sims. The medical examiner has not said if the body is Chico-Sims, but police said they believe she is the victim.

Petchenik talked to Johns Creek Lt. Todd Hood about why they think they know the identity of the victim.

"The mother said she has snuck out of the house on occasion, typically teenage stuff," Hood said. "Normally, in the morning, the family would find her. She'd be back home from whatever she was doing. Yesterday morning, she was not located at the house."

Petchenik obtained an incident report that said a friend messaged the teen on Snapchat after midnight Wednesday about meeting up, but Chico-Sims never showed up.

"We do show there is some activity on her Snapchat account at a certain time and after that, there hasn't been any additional activity," Hood said.

The Centennial High School student's Johns Creek neighborhood is half a mile from the complex where the body was found and just a one-minute drive from the location.


Petchenik talked to a friend of Chico-Sims on the phone. Savannah Howard said she is a close friend of the teen and that everyone is distraught about her disappearance.

"It was so unexpected. I was shocked. I felt sick to my stomach," Howard said. "She had the biggest heart ever. She always had a smile on her face, even when she was going through rough times."

Petchenik also spoke to a neighbor.  Dana, who asked that we only use her first name, lives in the Eagle's Glen subdivision.

"When I understood she was from this neighborhood, I was very upset," Dana said.

An investigator at the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office told Petchenik she is getting close to making a positive identification.