Body pulled from Vernon Hills pond in search for Carpentersville teen Brissa Romero

Missing Carpentersville teen's car located in retention pond near Executive Way and Lakeview Parkway

Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Body pulled from suburban pond in search for missing teen
The presumed body of Carpentersville teen Brissa Romero was recovered from a Vernon Hills retention pond near Executive Way and Lakeview Parkway.

VERNON HILLS, Ill. (WLS) -- Our coverage has moved here.

A body was recovered Tuesday afternoon in the search for missing Carpentersville teen Brissa Romero, police said in a news release.

Vernon Hills and Carpentersville police said the body was recovered by divers early Tuesday afternoon in the same Vernon Hills retention pond where her vehicle, a 2008 Nissan Rogue, had been recovered late Monday.

Police believe the car was accidentally driven into the pond after the driver failed to navigate a T-intersection nearby.

Video from a nearby fast food restaurant taken shortly before the phone's last communication with area cell towers suggests Romero, 17, was driving at the time, police said.

God rest her soul
neighbor Deanna Fenton

Police said there is no indication of foul play.

The body matches Romero's description, but it will need to be formally identified by the Lake County Coroner's office, according to police.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

Police are not pursuing any other leads related to her whereabouts.

Crews scanned the water using two sonar detection boats.

"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."

WATCH: Full update from Vernon Hills police

Vernon Hills police gave an update on the search for Brissa Romero after her car was recovered from a retention pond Monday afternoon.

Data from her cell phone led officers to Executive Way and Lakeview Parkway, where police found the teen's backpack and belongings, leading them to search the pond.

Her family last heard from Romero the night of Dec. 4, as she was headed to a holiday party about a mile away at a bowling alley.

Her sister, Dulce, said she was the youngest of five siblings.

She graduated from Barrington High School last year.

The school's principal is making counselors available to staff and students throughout the week.

"We are incredibly saddened and our thoughts are with Brissa's family and friends during this difficult time," a message from the school said.

The Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team is continuing to investigate the incident.

"The men and women of both the Carpentersville and Vernon Hills Police Departments worked diligently and with sincere hope for Brissa's safe return since she was reported missing. The Departments thank Brissa's family, friends, and members of the community who worked to bring awareness to Brissa's case and offer their deepest condolences to the Romero family," police said.

Family members met with police to hear the news Tuesday.

"It just brings me chills, you know, again my heart is for the family, you know, God rest her soul," neighbor Deanna Fenton said. "It is not lit up. You don't think there's a pond right here from the road."