VERNION HILLS, IL – The extensive search operation for teenage resident of Carpentersville, Brissa Romero, ended in a tragic discovery on Tuesday. In the same Vernon Hills retention pond where the young girl’s vehicle was found abandoned, police have now found a body matching Romero’s description.
The vehicle, a 2008 Nissan Rogue, is believed to have veered into the pond accidentally after Romero failed to navigate a T-intersection located nearby. A video clip retrieved from a local restaurant’s surveillance camera showcased Romero driving shortly before her phone went off the grid in communication with cell towers.
Police have stated that, as of the current stage of investigation, there’s no evidence implicating foul play. Awaiting formal confirmation by the Lake County Coroner’s office, the found body’s resemblance to 17-year-old Romero still needs validation. An autopsy scheduled for Wednesday will provide clarity.
Search teams were alerted to the location at Executive Way and Lakeview Parkway owing to data from Romero’s phone. This led to the finding of her backpack and belongings, as well as an exhaustive search of the pond. Police are no longer pursuing any further leads linked to her whereabouts.
Romero last made contact with her family on December 4th, while she was en route to a holiday party hosted at a bowling alley. Tragically, she never made it there. Romero, the youngest among five siblings, graduated from Barrington High School the previous year. The school announced counseling services for its staff and students grappling with the loss.
The County’s Major Crash Assistance Team continues its probe into the incident. Meanwhile, the Vernon Hills and Carpentersville Police Departments have extended thanks to Romero’s family, friends and community members for their help and have expressed their condolences to the Romero family.