Teen Was Killed by 'Forcible Drowning' as Parents Seek Answers: ‘We Want Justice’

Chris Harris

Charges have been filed against an 18-year-old man in connection with the “forcible drowning” of a 17-year-old Georgia girl– and the victim’s relatives are demanding justice.

Police in Roswell, Georgia, have charged Elijah Foster with concealing the death of Mercedes Chico-Sims, who died in May.

Foster and Mercedes have been described as acquaintances.

PEOPLE confirms medical examiners in Georgia determined Mercedes’ death was a homicide.

Mercedes, who would have turned 18 this week, was found dead in a pool behind a Johns Creek apartment complex on May 29.

Her body showed signs of “obvious” trauma, PEOPLE learns from authorities.

Foster has not been accused of killing Mercedes at this time, prosecutors confirm.

“The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and the Roswell Police Department are yet to receive the complete autopsy report from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office,” reads a statement from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. “Once we receive that report, we will make an official charging decision within 30 days.”

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Mercedes’ parents spoke to WSB-TV, who want answers in the wake of the medical examiners’ ruling.

“I just miss her so much,” Tiffany Sims told the station. “She was my best friend. Someone should never have their life shortened like that and face evil like that.”

The grieving mom added: “We want justice. We want answers. We want the truth. I feel like whatever the truth is that justice will be served accordingly.”

According to Sims, she confronted Foster on the day Mercedes’ body was found.

“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.”

She continued: “She was such an open spirit. She loved everyone. She trusted everyone, always smiled even when times are hard.”

Roger Hazelwood, the victim’s father, said, “She was more than just a daughter. She was a friend to a lot of people. She will be missed.”