ALEXANDRIA, Va. (FOX5) — The body of a missing teenager who was reported missing on Jan. 12 was found in an Alexandria park in Fairfax County on Friday, officials confirmed.
Fairfax County police said the body of 16-year-old Jholie Moussa was found in Woodlawn Neighborhood Park, located in the 4800 block of Manor Drive, at about 11 a.m. beyond the tennis courts. The body was covered in leaves and debris, according to police.
Authorities stated Moussa’s body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Manassas for official identification. Investigators said they were able to tentatively identify Moussa by the appearance of the body and by a tattoo. According to police, Moussa’s family was notified and her death was being investigated as a homicide.
The park where the discovery was made is located very close to where Moussa went missing. Moussa was last seen on Jan. 12 in the 4200 block of Sonia Court, and she was reported missing the following day. Police said Friday was the second time they had searched the park, the first time coming within days after she was reported missing.
Last week, the FBI joined the investigation into her disappearance.
Moussa’s mother, Syreeta Hill, told FOX 5 DC her daughter left home at about 4:15 p.m., telling her twin sister she was going to a party in Norfolk. Police said they looked into that tip, but it did not pan out.
Investigators had originally stated that Moussa did not appear to be an imminent danger since she left her home on her own accord. Until Friday, Moussa’s case was being treated as a juvenile runaway.
Detectives said they’d spoken with about 20 people who had recent contact with Moussa. However, police said many of those 20 people who were friends with Moussa were not fully cooperating with investigators.
Moussa was a 10th grade student at Mount Vernon High School.
Anyone with information that could aid detectives in their investigation was urged to call (703) 691-2131.