A body was discovered Tuesday afternoon during the hunt for missing Carpentersville adolescent Brissa Romero, according to a news release from police.
Divers located her corpse early Tuesday afternoon in the same Vernon Hills retention pond where her vehicle, a 2008 Nissan Rogue, had been retrieved late Monday, according to Vernon Hills and Carpentersville police.
Police believe the car was driven into the pond by mistake after the driver failed to negotiate a nearby T-intersection.
According to authorities, video from a nearby fast food restaurant obtained immediately before the phone’s last communication with surrounding cell towers indicates Romero, 17, was driving at the time and they found no evidence of foul play.
According to authorities, the body matches Romero’s description, but it must be formally recognized by the Lake County Coroner’s office.
On Wednesday, an autopsy will be performed. Police are not following up on any additional leads regarding her whereabouts.
Two sonar detection boats were used to survey the water.
“We’re going to be scanning this entire body of water to make sure we rule out any potential targets that could be Brissa,” Countryside Fire Chief Chuck Smith said. “We’ll be out here as long as it takes to bring closure to the family.”
Officers followed data from her cell phone to Executive Way and Lakeview Parkway, where they discovered the teen’s backpack and belongings, prompting them to check the pond.
Her family last heard from Romero on the night of December 4, when she was on her way to a holiday party at a bowling alley approximately a mile away.
Dulce, her sister, stated that she was the youngest of five siblings. Last year, she graduated from Barrington High School.
Throughout the week, the school’s principal makes counselors available to staff and kids.
“We are incredibly saddened, and our thoughts are with Brissa’s family and friends during this difficult time,” the school said in a statement.
The Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team is still looking into the event.
“Since Brissa was reported missing, the men and women of the Carpentersville and Vernon Hills Police Departments have worked tirelessly and with genuine hope for her safe return.” “The Departments express their heartfelt condolences to the Romero family and thank Brissa’s family, friends, and members of the community who worked to bring awareness to Brissa’s case.”
On Tuesday, family members met with police to learn the news.
“It just gives me chills, you know, my heart is for the family, you know, God rest her soul,” Deanna Fenton, a neighbor, said. “It is not illuminated. You don’t believe there’s a pond right here on the road?”