Teen's Johns Creek pool death ruled homicide as result of 'forcible drowning'

JOHNS CREEK — The parents of a teen girl found dead at a Johns Creek pool in May say her official cause of death has been ruled homicide.

Mercedes Chico-Sims would've been 18 years old Tuesday.

Her body was found at the Atlantic Newtown apartments off Nesbit Ferry Road on May 29. Police said a maintenance worker found her body by the pool and there were "obvious signs of trauma."

Channel 2's Mike Petchenik learned from her parents that her death was the result of "forcible drowning."

"I just miss her so much," Tiffany Sims said. "She was my best friend. Someone should never have their life shortened like that and face evil like that."

Prosecutors have charged Elijah Foster with concealing her death, but so far, haven't accused him of murder.


"We want justice. We want answers. We want the truth."​​​​​ Sims said. "I feel like whatever the truth is that justice will be served accordingly."

Sims said on the day her daughter's body was found, she confronted Foster looking for answers.

"At the time when he said he didn't know where she was or hadn't seen her," Sims said. "He showed no remorse. No remorse whatsoever."

The teen’s parents would rather focus on the impact she made in the lives of others.

"She was such an open spirit. She loved everyone. She trusted everyone, always smiled even when times are hard," Sims said.

"She was more than just a daughter. She was a friend to a lot of people. She will be missed," said Roger Hazelwood, the teen's father.

The district attorney's office released a statement saying it has yet to receive the final autopsy report. Once officials receive it, they'll decide whether to upgrade the charges against Foster.