Missing woman found dead in condo

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UPDATE: Christian Valentin Penchi has been arrested in Puerto Rico on a warrant for 1st Degree Murder, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. He also is being charged with grand theft in an unrelated case. 


Orange County deputies are searching for a person of interest after a missing woman was found dead.

Deputies look for clues in the murder of 23 year old Vanessa Cocly, her body found at the Sand Lake Courtyard Condos, also known as the Heritage Motel last night, off of Orange Blossom Trial. The Southern Technical College honor student went missing on Saturday.

We talked to Executive Director Martin Levert. He said that "she was a great student. Already started off strong out the gate being on the president's list here at Southern Technical College. Very sad because she had a great opportunity."

Deputies say Vanessa worked for Disney but was studying to be a medical assistant.

The Orange Sheriff's spokesperson Jeff Williamson said that "She had missed a couple of days of work at her new job. She missed school and an Easter celebration with her family. That led us to this location."

The location, Unit #1101, is where person-of-interest Christian Penchi was staying.Deputies say he had an on again off again relationship with Vanessa and was last seen driving a 2013 Black Lexus, license plate #735 RQL.

Outside her family's home, neighbors tell us, Vanessa often enjoyed parties with friends, coworkers and fellow students..

Francisco Delacruz says, "She was real sweet. They always do the Christmas lights. I see them as a big happy family."

For Levert and others at this school, it's a tragic loss.

"Her instructors and students really appreciated her energy and her smile. She was here everyday, didn't miss any class and of course was a great student."

Anyone with information on this should call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.